Funeral home burglar stole, wore dead man’s burial suit, police say

A Kentucky man is accused of burglarizing a funeral home and stealing from a dead man awaiting burial, according to police.

James Neal Sullivan, 35, of Cecilia, is charged with third-degree burglary in the Sept. 13 incident at Watson & Hunt Funeral Home in Leitchfield, a small city about 75 miles southwest of Louisville. The Leitchfield Police reported that a man broke into the funeral home around 10:30 p.m. the night of the burglary and stayed inside for several hours, even taking a nap in the office.

The man, later identified as Sullivan, could also be seen on surveillance footage dressing himself in a suit meant for the burial of a client of the business. Before leaving, he stole the clothes and some jewelry from the dead man, the keys to the funeral home's hearse and several electronic items, including a Playstation 3 he found in the office, police officials said.

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The investigation into the burglary led to Sullivan’s identification as the man who broke into the funeral home. According to police, investigators from Leitchfield, along with Hardin County narcotics agents and Kentucky state troopers on Wednesday executed a search warrant on a home in White Mills.

During the search, they found some of the property that had been stolen in the funeral home burglary, Leitchfield police officials said. They also found drugs, drug paraphernalia, a weapon and detonation cords.

Sullivan was not present at the time of the search warrant, but two other people were arrested in connection to the case.

Credit: Hardin County Detention Center

Credit: Hardin County Detention Center

Gary W. Hawks, 55, of White Mills, is charged with first-degree possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession and distribution of explosives without a permit and possession of marijuana, according to a statement on the Leitchfield Police Department's Facebook page.

Jennifer Kay Wills, 38, of White Mills, also was arrested Wednesday at the home. She is charged with receiving stolen property, tampering with physical evidence and first-degree possession of a controlled substance.

Police were still looking for Sullivan Thursday morning, but information from the Grayson County Detention Center shows he was booked on the burglary charge there later that day. He remained there Friday afternoon.

Hawks and Wills also remained jailed, but they were in the Hardin County Jail.

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