Man scammed families in mourning, police say

An ex-city official is accused of moving human remains to illegally sell space at a cemetery in Lake County. One family still doesn’t know where their loved one’s ashes are.

It all happened at the Shiloh Cemetery in Fruitland Park. Police say the city’s former human resources director moved the contents of one of the niches to make room for someone else he sold it to, off the books.

Jabari Hopkins was arrested for grand theft and disturbing the contents of a grave. Police say they first caught on to Hopkins after it came to light that he was misusing his city-issued credit card.

They later discovered Hopkins illegally sold thousands of dollars worth of niche space and burial plots at the cemetery. One widow, who didn’t want to be named, told FOX 35 News her husband’s remains were supposed to be in one of the spots Hopkins sold, but now she doesn’t even know where they are.

Hopkins was released from jail on bail but could be facing 15 years in prison.

The city says it has already talked to people who bought the other unused burial plots from Hopkins and told them they can keep them.

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