MONESSEN, Pa. -- A Monessen man allegedly broke into a funeral parlor and tampered with a female corpse before getting caught in the act, police said.
Roderick Jones, who police said was convicted of abuse of a corpse in 1999, is facing new charges stemming from the alleged incident on Sixth Street in Monessen last month. Funeral director Johnny Draper said he left the Draper Funeral Home on July 13 to talk to some friends across the street for about 10 minutes.
When Draper noticed a light on in the basement, he went back inside -- and that's when, according to a police affidavit, he found Roderick Jones lying next to the coffin of a woman whom Draper had been preparing for burial.
According to the affidavit, one of the deceased woman's legs was up in the air, her stockings had been removed and the plastic covering her body had been torn open. Draper said Jones was lying down near the casket in an attempt to hide, but Draper said he was able to restrain the man until police arrived. Draper said the funeral home has a top-notch security system in place, and there has never been a break-in before. He also said he believes he made it back into the building before the corpse was abused.
According to police, Jones has a history of burglary, criminal trespass and criminal mischief, along with the 1999 conviction in an unrelated case in Charleroi.
Jones is being held in the Westmoreland County Prison, charged with abuse of a corpse and burglary, police said.