RAVENNA, Italy — The body of Serafino Ferruzzi, founder of Italy's third-largest firm, has been stolen from a cemetery by a group demanding $7.5 million from the family, police said Sunday.
The remains were reported missing from the family tomb in the northern city of Ravenna on Friday night after an anonymous telephone call to a newspaper.
Ferruzzi, who was killed in a plane crash in 1979, founded the agri-industrial group Ferruzzi Agricola Finanziaria.
Police said Saturday that the body, removed through a hole cut in the side of the coffin, was probably taken several days ago.
The Ferruzzi family, second in personal wealth in Italy only to the Agnellis of the auto maker Fiat, had earlier received what police termed "a vague and confusing" letter saying they would soon be subject to an extortion attempt.
The only apparent motive for the theft was an accusation by the anonymous writer of the letter that the Ferruzzis were too materialistic, sources said.