July 14th, 2009
03:38 PM ET
13 years ago

Update: WH now says first lady's father not buried at Burr Oak


(CNN) - The office of First Lady Michelle Obama is now correcting a confirmation made to CNN earlier today. Communications Director Camille Johnston now says that Mrs. Obama's father, Fraser Robinson III, was buried at Lincoln Cemetery, not Burr Oak Cemetery.

Earlier in the day Johnston told CNN's Elaine Quijano that he is buried at Burr Oak Cemetery, and that there would be no additional comment.

When White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs was asked during a gaggle aboard Air Force One to comment on the original story, he had no comment.

Robinson worked for the City of Chicago's Water Department as a pump operator. He died in 1991.

Burr Oak Cemetery is at the center of a criminal scandal. Workers are accused of digging up bodies and reselling plots.

(This post has been updated to reflect the White House's correction of its original statement.)

Filed under: Michelle Obama
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I'm appalled by this dispicable act. The suspects need to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. From what I've gathered of the story is that there may even be caskets buried on top of others. My heart goes out to the families who are affected by this.

    July 14, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |

    This is nothing new African American funeral homes and buriel sites are well know for doing this. Not only do they do this type businesss many have been caught taking bodies out of coffins and puting them in pine boxes then reselling the coffins.

    July 14, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |

    Regardless of whose grave was disturbed, the people responsible should be horse whipped, there is no reason in the world that could excuse their behavior and greed.

    July 14, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  4. very much a shame

    to desocrate someone, anyones, place of burial and memory


    we need to also think like Sweden does about mandatory cremation

    I realize writing this that I will stir up lots of negative postings, but it is true

    July 14, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  5. Lisa, Saugus MA

    How sad for all these families. I hope Mrs. Obama's family is not one of the victims in this thoughtless vindictive crime.

    Our thoughts are with you and your family, Mrs. Obama.

    July 14, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  6. JGB

    These people need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and then some!! Truly disgusting!

    July 14, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  7. citizenjane

    The totality of this story epitomizes a greedy sickness in America which has, sadly, become more and more prevalent.

    My prayers to the families of all who have been affected by this tragedy.

    July 14, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  8. addon

    This is a terrible result of morbid greed.

    July 14, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  9. Janice, MD

    I not only hope the first lady's father's grave has not been touched, but I pray for the others as well.

    July 14, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  10. yuri

    That's so gross, we feel like pukin'. Leave the dead alone and let them rest in peace. We do not purchase haunted houses.

    July 14, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  11. Robin

    The first lady's father and thousands of other fathers.

    It is atrocity that it happened. The fact that Ms. Obama's father was buried there does not make it worse.

    July 14, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    soooo, did CNN verify whether he was or not before it was reported the first time? Cemeteries generally have lists of who is buried in them and they are public documents easily accessible if you spend, oh, let's say 5 minutes talking to the City Clerk or one of the people in charge at the cemetery.

    July 14, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  13. Sharon Kitchen

    I pray that this cemetary is left alone as it is in the same city.
    I will also pray for the families that have been hurt by this action.

    There is a special place for people that will do this.

    July 14, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. Larry

    This whole story is as disturbing as the couple in Florida who were killed. They adopted special needs kids and were killed in an apparent robbery.

    What has our society come to?

    July 14, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  15. susie

    Didn't Michelle remember where her father was buried?

    July 14, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  16. Libertarian

    For those that posted the cruel remarks and Obama slurs on this story. There really is no need of it. This is a deeply personal issue for the families buried there. This could (and maybe is) happening in your home state too....don't cast stones. If you're truly "right-wing" you would pray for those that are hurt in this.

    July 14, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  17. Dana

    Copp's Hill Burying Ground was founded in 1659 in Boston.There is a historical marker that states that people were doing the same crime. Digging up the dead and reselling the plots.

    July 14, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  18. amy

    My inlaws are buried in a small outlying town where we live. There are only 2 cemetaries there. I could not tell you the names of either one. It's the one because they are so very old without entrance signs.

    This is not uncommon folks...

    July 14, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    @ susie, who asked "Didn't Michelle remember where her father was buried?"

    Of course she did. It was the media's fault for not fact-checking what they decided would help their ad revenue before printing it.

    July 14, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  20. Leslie

    It means Michelle Obama do NOT visit her father's grave regularly; if she does she would know her father's grave was no longer there. OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND! What a hypocrite!

    July 14, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  21. conservative

    Well it would have made for a good liberal sympathy saga!

    July 14, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |