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Rug, Body Stolen in Moldova

December 7, 1999

CHISINAU, Moldova (AP) _ Thieves who made off with a rug reportedly got more than they bargained for: They also ended up with the body of a Moldovan woman.

The incident happened after two impoverished Moldovan cousins bundled up their grandmother’s corpse in a rug because they couldn’t afford a coffin, the daily Observator reported.

The men strapped the body to the top of their car and headed south from Ukraine to bury her in northern Moldova, the paper reported. En route, they stopped to eat in the Ukrainian town of Spikovo, 190 miles northwest of Kiev.

When they left the restaurant, they discovered that the rug and the grandmother’s body were missing, the newspaper said.

The two men notified Ukrainian police and returned to Moldova, performing a burial service without the body.

In impoverished Moldova, the cost of an average burial is about $135, but the average monthly salary is only $23.

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