A veteran's grave at the Fort Snelling National Cemetery was desecrated sometime in the last 24 hours, according to the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office.

About 8 a.m. Thursday, a maintenance man discovered that a grave had "considerable amounts of dirt and ground disturbed," Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek said at a Thursday afternoon news conference at the cemetery. The grave belonged to a World War II era veteran who died in the 1970s.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner now has "custody" of the remains, which were removed from the grave. The headstone was not damaged, but federal and local law enforcement agents and police tape kept visitors away from the scene.   

The sheriff did not reveal the identity of the veteran, whose family has been notified. Stanek said the vandalism amounted to a felony in Minnesota, but no suspect has been identified. He declined to speculate on a motive.