Police on the scene of Long Island Cemetery Break-in

Suffolk County Detectives were on the scene Tuesday, after vandals broke in to three mausoleums and snatched a body from a casket at St. Charles Cemetery in East Farmingdale, police said. (WPIX-TV / August 24, 2010)

NEW YORK -- The family of the elderly woman whose remains were stolen from a mausoleum inside a Catholic cemetery on Long Island a week ago are offering a $30,000 reward for information about the crime.

The incident occurred at St. Charles Cemetery in East Farmingdale, sometime between 6:30 p.m. last Monday and 7:30 a.m. last Tuesday, according to police.

The grave robbers broke into the mausoleum, removed Mattia Filippazzo's coffin, pried it out and took her mortal remains. The 87-year old woman -- who died in 1998 -- had been laid to rest with her husband.

"The family has been devastated by this," said Vincent Longo, Filippazzo's grandson. "We can't imagine that anyone would do something like this.

In addition, family friend Anthony Cuomo is devastated over the events that occurred.

"Unfortunately her eternal peace has been disrupted by these animals," said Cuomo. "I don't think anyone here or nationwide can say that his doesn't pull at the very fabric of a human being."

In addition to the family reward, police say they are willing to kick in up to $5,000 for more information about the crime.

Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spots said Tuesday the suspect could face up to four years in prison if convicted of desecrating a cemetery. He said that while cemetery vandalism is somewhat of a common occurrence, the theft of a body is "extremely rare."

It doesn't appear Filippazzo was targeted. Police say two other mausoleums were also broken into, however the thieves were unable to get to the caskets inside.

"I'm sure the cowards or the disgustingly people that did this cowardly act had to have said something to sparks someone's attention," said Cuomo.

Fillippazzo is survived by 7 children, 21 grand children and more than 40 great grandchildren.

Anyone with information regarding the crime is urged to contact Suffolk County police.