According to Australian police, human remains were stolen from the same cemetery on two different nights in what is now being investigated as a “satanic ritual.”

The incidents began last week at the Footscray General Cemetary in Melbourne, one happening between last Thursday and Friday and the other between Monday and Tuesday this week. Detectives say both incidents occurred overnight and involved the offenders forcing their ways into mausoleums before stealing remains from them.

It’s unclear whether the two break-ins are linked, and inspector Ben Jarman told 7 News, “The human remains were the primary focus of the offender and that is what we are focusing on. It’s very distressing for the families. They expect their loved ones to be put to rest at peace.”

Jarman said he expected the criminals would have made use of a tool to get into the mausoleums, and “It would have to be something substantial,” to allow them access.

Along with the desecrated mausoleums, police found items left in the cemetery including a crucifix, candles and disturbing letters apparently written to Satan.

Security at the cemetery has been increased, and police have urged any locals with knowledge of the matter to come forward.

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