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Charges Dropped in Lime Hill Corpse Case


By David Keeler

Bradford County District Attorney Daniel Barrett confirmed Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011, that charges have been dropped against a Wyalusing Township man regarding his involvement last year in a bizarre case where a 91-year-old woman was found with a corpse in her home and another in her garage.

James Flanagan, 63, of Lime Hill, faced a charge filed in June of 2010 of abusing a corpse, a second degree misdemeanor, for helping his friend, Jean Stevens, disinter her twin sister June’s body and move it to her home. June Stevens’s embalmed body was removed from her grave on private property shortly after she was buried in October 2009 and remained in her sister’s home until June of the following year when a visitor to the home notified police and the body was removed.

The other corpse was Jean Stevens’s husband, James, whose body was disinterred from the Lime Hill Cemetery shortly after he was buried in May of 1990 and placed in a garage across the street and a short distance from his wife’s home. His body was discovered by police.

Although police identified a number of people who had helped or knew about James Stevens’s body being disinterred and moved, there were no charges filed because the statute of limitations had expired. There were no charges filed against June Stevens.

Charges against James Flanagan lingered for over a year without a preliminary hearing being scheduled.  Barrett said the charges were dropped several weeks ago. “We made our point,” Barrett said. “The likely penalty would have been a small fine, and we had other cases where we needed to devote our resources and time.”

The macabre incident brought a blitz of reporters to Lime Hill to cover the story, which was reported in newspapers across the nation, on network TV and in foreign countries.

Eventually, friends of Jean Stevens built a mausoleum near the garage where James Stevens’s body was found and presumably both corpses are now there. 

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