President Signs Law to Allow Disinternment in Augusta
President Obama has signed legislation that allows the federal government to dig up the remains of ineligible veterans mistakenly buried in national cemeteries, prompted by the burial of a suspected murderer at Fort Custer National Cemertary. The Alicia Dawn Koehl Respect for National Cemeteries Act is named for an Indianapolis apartment manager who was fatally shot on May 30, 2012, by a tenant, Michael Anderson, who took his own life and was mistakenly buried with full military honors at Fort Custer National Cemetery. Federal law prohibits individuals who "have committed a Federal or State capital crime but were unavailable for trial due to death" from being buried in national cemeteries. Republican Sen. Dan Coats of Indiana says the law he introduced ensures the Veterans Administration disinters Anderson's remains. The Koehl family had sought the removal of Anderson's remains.