Coffins bearing the bodies of a Montgomery County judge and his wife were removed from a mausoleum in Rockville Cemetery last weekend, and the woman's remains were scattered in a wooded area nearby, Rockville city officials said yesterday.
The coffins of judge and state senator Stedman Prescott Sr. and his wife, Calla, were taken from the marble mausoleum in the cemetery sometime between Friday night and Monday morning and were dragged with a tractor and dumped about 40 yards away on the cemetery grounds, officials said.
Calla Prescott's coffin was pried open and her remains strewn a few yards away, according to Don Vandrey, a city spokesman.
"The police have recovered most of the bones they could find," said Vandrey.
Rockville police said there were no signs that efforts had been made to open Stedman Prescott's coffin, Vandrey said.
The initial police report said a cemetery caretaker, Beulah Whitworth, reported the coffins missing yesterday morning.
City officials said that someone broke through an iron fence surrounding the mausoleum, drove the tractor through the opening and used a hammer to break marble slabs covering the vault.
The coffins were then lifted onto the tractor's front shovel and dragged away, officials said. The tractor belonged to the city's park maintenance storage yard, located near the cemetery on Old Baltimore Road.
Police have no motive or suspect in the case, Vandrey said. The only valuable item in the coffins was Calla Prescott's ring, which was not stolen, family members said.
Prescott died Nov. 13, 1968, at the age of 72. Calla Prescott died five months earlier.
Prescott was named to the state's highest court in 1956 after 32 years as an elected official in Montgomery County.
He became chief judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals, the state's highest judicial officer, in 1964.
Prescott also served as Montgomery County state's attorney and as a state senator.
The Prescotts' daughter, Polly Rosenberger of Rockville, said yesterday that the coffins were among four in the mausoleum that are owned by Prescott and his brother, William H. Prescott of Chevy Chase. She said the mausoleum's glass had been broken before with air guns.
Stedman Prescott's son, Stedman Prescott Jr. of Annapolis, said he did not know any details about the incident.
"Just the fact that they disturbed the graves is horrible enough. I just can't imagine people like that," he said.