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Funeral home offers reward after mausoleum theft

Family photo of Mattia Filippazzo, who died in

Family photo of Mattia Filippazzo, who died in 1998. Filippazzo's remains were discovered stolen from a mausoleum in St. Charles Cemetery on August 24, 2010, according to Suffolk police and Filippazzo's family. Credit: WCBS-TV

A Deer Park funeral home will donate a new coffin and liner to the family seeking the return of a relative's stolen remains.

Suffolk police are still searching for the person or people who pried open a mausoleum at St. Charles Cemetery in East Farmingdale holding the coffin of Mattia Filippazzo. Someone pried open a metal door and broke a stone slab to reach the coffin. It was discovered Tuesday morning next to the vault, open and empty.

"We felt very bad for her, we thought of our own family, and we thought, 'What can we do?' " said Joseph Mari, manager of Mangano Funeral Home. In addition to a zinc liner and new coffin, Mari said the business also would pay for Filippazzo to be interred again if her remains are recovered.

The mother of seven from Valley Stream died in 1998 at the age of 87 and was interred next to her husband, Stefano, who died in 1990. Two other mausoleums also were broken into but the coffins inside were not disturbed, police said.

Filippazzo's remains have not been recovered, and no arrests have been made.

Mari said the business also offered $10,000 as a reward to help the Filippazzo family recover the remains.

"The family is extremely appreciative of their generosity," said one of Filippazzo's grandsons, Vincent Longo, 45. The family has offered a reward totaling $30,000 for information leading to the return of the remains.

A Suffolk police crime scene unit was at the cemetery Friday, where an officer took photos of a bush a few hundred yards from the vandalized vaults. Suffolk police said Thursday and Friday there were no developments in the case.

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