Police: Nursing home body taken for religious ritual

Police and the Westchester County District Attorney?s Office are not filing any charges after family members kidnapped a woman?s body from a Yonkers nursing home.

The body was that of a 76-year-old Japanese woman who died at St. Joseph?s Nursing Home this week. Officials say her family members came to the nursing home to grieve and pick up her belongings, but actually took the body.

Nursing home officials say the family started taking the decedent?s belongings out of the building in a wheelchair around 1 a.m. Thursday. A security guard got suspicious, but checked the wheelchair and only saw items. However, officials say family members took the woman?s body out of the home during one of the three trips they made into the building. According to police, pillows were placed in the woman?s bed to make it look like she was still there.

Police say they eventually found the woman?s body at the family?s Mahopac home. Authorities believe the family members took the body for a traditional Shinto home grieving ritual.

Meanwhile, nursing home officials say they are reviewing all of their security procedures after the incident.

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