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Rifle casings found at headstone of North Arlington officer’s son

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: North Arlington police are investigating the alarming discovery of two rifle shell casings at the base of a headstone for a borough police officer’s son.

Police were contacted yesterday afternoon by a family remember, who reported recently finding the casings days earlier at Holy Cross Cemetery, Police Chief Louis Ghione told CLIFFVIEW PILOT this morning.

Officer Anthony Abilio, a 14-year veteran of the department, buried two sons who died from complications related to Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), a disease that causes muscle degeneration and weakness and often leads to death, in Holy Cross. One died in July 2001 and the other in October 2004 (A third child with the disease is paralyzed and must remain on a ventilator).

The graves are near a 9/11 memorial and an area where police officers are buried.

“Twenty-one gun salutes happen there often,” Ghione told CLIFFVIEW PILOT , adding that the “ceremonial” bullets found apparently weren’t fired recently.

“The rounds were weathered, so they could have been on the ground for awhile,” he said.

“If it is determined that these rifle shell casings were placed at that location as a threat to one of our police officers or his family members, then every effort from local and county police agencies will be utilized to determine who the [person] may be,” the chief warned.

If identified, that person “will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” he said.

“This agency takes seriously any direct or implied threats to any of our officers and will take all actions necessary to protect our officers and their family members,” Ghione added.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call North Arlington police: (201) 955-5684

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