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Coffin In Living Room Leads
To Florida Incest Arrest

2-28-2


MOORE HAVEN, Fla. (Reuters) - Acting on a tip that a Florida family was keeping a child's casket in their living room, police discovered a 53-year-old man living on an isolated farm with his sister as a couple and their 13 children and grandchildren, authorities said on Wednesday.
 
Police believe the couple may have exhumed the body of their infant son from a grave in nearby Okeechobee County 12 years ago and kept the remains in a pine box, Glades County Sheriff's chief deputy Kenneth Holley said.
 
No charges were filed against the pair for digging up the remains because the statute of limitations had run out but police filed a single charge of incest against the man. He was being held Wednesday at the Glades County Jail on $150,000 bond.
 
Holley said the sister had not yet been charged in the ongoing investigation into one of the most bizarre incidents in memory in rural Glades County, a citrus-growing area bordering Florida's Lake Okeechobee.
 
"Some of our norms are defined by law. Some people don't agree with the norms and they live outside the law," Holley said. "Our main concern was for the welfare of the children."
 
Investigators believe the 13 children were delivered and schooled at home. They described the house as orderly and the children as disciplined.
 
"You have to wonder. Didn't they know this wouldn't work out?" Holley said.
 
 
Copyright © 2002 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.


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