First Lady's Father Not Buried in Burr Oak

Families losing sleep wondering what's become of loved ones' graves

By Zach Christman and BJ Lutz
|  Tuesday, Jul 28, 2009  |  Updated 1:18 PM CDT
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"Special Place In Hell" For Grave Robbers

Franco Origlia/Getty Images

There was some confusion earlier Tuesday as to where the First Lady's father is buried.

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The First Lady's White House office has issued a correction after earlier confirming that Michelle Obama's father was buried at Alsip's Burr Oak Cemetery, where as many as 300 bodies were unearthed as part of a $300,000 scam by workers to re-sell grave plots.

"I can confirm the First Lady's father is buried at Burr Oak cemetery, " the first lady's spokeswoman Camille Johnston wrote in an e-mail earlier Tuesday.

There was apparently some confusion at the White House, and the spokeswoman later said that Fraser Robinson III was interred at Lincoln Cemetery, not Burr Oak.  Both are in Alsip.

"Just confusion - they are a couple of blocks away from each other," Johnston clarified with the Chicago Sun-Times' Lynn Sweet when asked how the error could happen.

Robinson, who died in 1991 from complications stemming from multiple sclerosis, was a city employee and a Democratic precinct captain. He married Michelle's mom in 1960.

The graveyard has been closed and declared a crime scene. The historic black cemetery is home to Emmett Till, an icon of the civil rights movement.

Michelle Obama's mother, Marian Robinson, lives in the White House with the First Family.

The Cook County Sheriff's Office has closed the entire cemetery, declaring it a crime scene, and is allowing people to place new requests only by phone at 1-800-942-1950 or e-mail burroakcemeteryinvestigation@gmail.com.


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