Vandalism strikes gravesite of mall mogul William Cafaro

By Chelsea Miller


Police are investigating an apparent act of vandalism to the gravesite of longtime businessman William M. Cafaro.

Police were dispatched about 6:30 p.m. Thursday to Calvary Cemetery, 248 S. Belle Vista Ave., on the city’s West Side, where they found the door to Cafaro’s mausoleum open.

Upon further investigation, pry marks were found on the doors, and the lock was pried open, police said.

Cafaro’s coffin also was found on the floor, but it was unopened. According to police, there appeared to be attempts made to open the coffin.

Cafaro, a Youngstown entrepreneur, developed the Cafaro Co., one of the largest commercial real-estate developers in the nation and a pioneer of mall development. He died in April 1998 at age 84. His net worth at his death was estimated at $800 million by Forbes magazine.

Joe Bell, the company’s director of corporate communications, said police are investigating the break-in, although it does not appear that the vandal was able to open the coffin.

“All we know about it is it appeared to be a random act of vandalism,” he said.

Police took pictures and attempted to lift fingerprints from the scene.

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