Girl's body, 18, 'stolen' from grave in suspected Chinese 'ghost marriage'

A teenager's body has been stolen from her grave in China in tomb robbing for a suspected 'ghost marriage'.

Known as 'minghun' or 'spirit marriage', Chinese 'ghost marriages' see corpses wed to living people in a ceremony thought to bring peace to the dead in afterlife.

It is carried out especially if either the bride or groom had died suddenly before a wedding or a child had died single.

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In 2015, a record 14 female corpses were stolen in one village in Shanxi province, according to the BBC.

The village family from in North China believe the corpse of their female relative, who died aged 18, has been stolen for one such ceremony.

The girl had been buried in what the relatives called a "modest" ceremony almost two decades ago.

They said her coffin contained "nothing of value".

At the site of the woman's overturned grave, a pair of gloves suspected of belonging to one of the tomb raiders has also been found and is now part of police evidence.

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The family revealed strangers had once visited their home offering to purchase their relative's body to become a 'corpse bride' for a ghost wedding.

They refused the offer.

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Local authorities are now investigating the case.

China official outlawed the trading of corpses in August 2006.

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Those deemed to have breached the corpse regulation laws face up to three years in prison.

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