Cops say grave robbers had sex on their minds
Twin brothers, friend are arrested in Wisconsin after tip leads police to young woman's grave
BY TAD VEZNER
On their way to dig up a grave in rural southwestern Wisconsin, the Grunke brothers and a friend stopped at a Wal-Mart to pick up some condoms, authorities said.
Three days later, on Tuesday, twins Nicholas and Alexander Grunke, 20, and Dustin Radke, 20, were charged in Grant County with attempted theft — and attempting to have sex with a corpse.
"In different schools that teach you about bizarre behavior, necrophilia is one of those things that you hear about, but never think you'll have to deal with," said Grant County Sheriff Keith Grovier.
A Cassville police officer arrived at the St. Charles Cemetery on Saturday night after a neighbor alerted police to suspicious activity, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday. The officer found an abandoned vehicle parked near the cemetery. Minutes later, the complaint stated, the officer saw Alexander Grunke walking toward the vehicle, dressed in black and sweating profusely.
After being questioned, Grunke told the officer his brother and Radke were trying to dig up a grave, according to the complaint.
The two drove into the cemetery to find the partially dug grave of a 20-year-old woman who was killed in a motorcycle accident Aug. 27 in Cassville. The diggers had only managed to reach the top of the grave's concrete vault.
Nicholas Grunke and Radke were arrested Sunday morning in Beetown, about eight miles from the cemetery.
The complaint said Radke told police that Nicholas Grunke had asked him to help dig up the Cassville woman's body and take it to Grunke's house, so that Grunke could have sex with it. On the way to the cemetery, Radke said, they stopped by a Dodgeville Wal-Mart to buy condoms "because Nick wanted to use them when he had sex with a corpse," the complaint added.
Grovier said the three did not know the woman but had seen her picture in a newspaper obituary.
The Grunkes are from Ridgeway, while Radke is from Dodgeville, both in Wisconsin's Iowa County, about 50 miles northeast of Cassville.
Grovier said the woman was "very well-liked, very popular" in Cassville, a Mississippi River town of about 1,100. "The community is very upset," the sheriff said. "They can't believe it."
"The family, they're people of faith, but this is still a difficult time for them," the Rev. John Norder, pastor of St. Charles Church in Cassville, told the Associated Press on Monday. "We're all pretty shook up that something like this could even happen. It blows your mind how anyone could stoop so low."
Radke and the Grunkes were being held Tuesday night in the Grant County jail. The Grunke brothers were assigned a $1,000 bond, while Radke had a $1,500 bond for previous misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest, Grovier said.
Each could face nearly 5½ years in prison and a $17,500 fine.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Tad Vezner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-228-5461.