Flanked by district attorney Thomas Spota, deputy chief of detectives,...

Flanked by district attorney Thomas Spota, deputy chief of detectives, Frank Stallone, speaks out on the stolen remains of Mattia Filippazzo taken from St. Charles Cemetery last week. At right, Filippazzo's grandson, Vincent Longo, looks on. (Aug. 31, 2010) Credit: James Carbone

The family of a Valley Stream woman whose remains were stolen from her coffin a dozen years after her death appealed Tuesday for their return.

Standing at the gates of St. Charles Cemetery in East Farmingdale, one of Mattia Filippazzo's 21 grandchildren said the family was "devastated" at the desecration of her grave.

"If anyone has any information, any little bit, they saw something, a car go by, something by the cemetery . . . please pick up the phone and call," said Vincent Longo, 45. Early last Tuesday, a caretaker at the Brooklyn diocese-run cemetery found the metal-and-glass doors of Filippazzo's mausoleum pried open. A stone slab inside was broken, and her coffin had been pulled outside. It was discovered empty.

Two other mausoleums also were broken into, but the coffins inside were not disturbed, police said. The coffin of Filippazzo's husband, also contained in the vault, was not touched.

The family last week offered a reward of $30,000 for information leading to the return of her remains. Suffolk County CrimeStoppers has offered an additional reward of up to $5,000, police said. "Every phone call we get, we hope for positive news," Longo said.

Filippazzo, a mother of seven, was raised in Sicily, Italy, and moved to Brooklyn in the 1950s with her family. She worked as a seamstress and died in 1998 at the age of 87. She was interred with her husband, Stefano, who died in 1990.

"She should be resting in peace. That is what every one of us would want for every one of our relatives," said Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota, who spoke at the news conference. Suffolk detectives said last week they believed a group of people carrying tools parked a vehicle on New Highway and jumped a fence to reach the vaults. Tuesday Dep. Chief Frank Stallone noted the size and relative accessibility of the property and called that "one of a number of theories." He urged anyone with information to call police "no matter how small you think it is."

Anyone with information related to this crime is asked to call 800-220-TIPS. All calls will remain confidential.

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