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Remains of two people moved to different cemetery

STEEP FALLS (WGME) -- Three men are accused of digging up remains of two people and moving them to another cemetery.

The ashes of Richard Lewis and his son, Trent Lewis, were buried in the Steep Falls Cemetery for years until last year when the Cumberland County Sheriff says they were secretly and illegally dug up by other family members and moved to Maple Hill Cemetery in Limington. That means the Trent Lewis' partner, Crystal Jordan, and his still-grieving children had been visiting empty graves for a year.

Crystal says Trent's brother finally admitted to her that last September, he and two other family members dug up their ashes, and moved them to Maple Hill Cemetery to Limington to lie with other relatives.

"That's the shock of - you go to visit somebody at a resting place, then come to find out you don't even know they're not there - they've been moved," said Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin Joyce. "The law specifically says you can't dig up the remains and that's exactly what they did. All three admitted to doing it and feeling like, you know this is a family member how bad can it be."

Crystal and her children are heartbroken, knowing they've been visiting an empty grave for almost a year.

The ashes of both men have been returned to their original resting place at Steep Falls Cemetery, their graves marked only by two empty wreath holders.

She says she doesn't know who took the wreaths that were there, but she says she'll buy headstones as soon as she can afford to, hopefully putting an end to the pain, and giving some peace to her kids, who just want to be able to visit the ones they love.

The men are charged with abuse of a corpse, which is a Class D misdemeanor and carries possible jail time of up to three years. Jordan says she does have some fear that they will do it again too.