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Man held for theft of father’s corpse in Detroit

DETROIT — Police said a man arrested in the theft of his father’s corpse had hoped the body would return to life.

Lieutenant Harold Rochon told The Detroit News that the son is ‘‘very religious’’ and was ‘‘hoping his father would be resurrected.’’

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The 48-year-old man was in custody after police found the body of Clarence Bright in the son’s home Tuesday.

Rochon told the newspaper that the son bought a freezer to store the body.

Bright’s funeral was Saturday but the burial was delayed. The body was reported stolen Monday.

Bright’s son and another man were arrested Tuesday while inside a van with an empty casket.

Police said the body was being returned to the family for burial.

Bright’s final earthly journey was supposed to end Saturday at Gethsemane Cemetery on Detroit’s east side, but soggy ground from recent rain postponed the burial of the 93-year-old.

The casket was placed near a chapel or a mausoleum on cemetery grounds and remained there through Monday morning when it was reported stolen, said Leon Jones, a mortician’s assistant at Swanson Funeral Home, which handled the funeral.

‘‘This is a very, very bizarre situation,’’ Jones said.

Acting on a tip that a white van had been seen at the cemetery around the time the body was taken, police spotted one parked at a gas station Tuesday, with the men and the empty casket inside, officer George Day said.

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