Stolen trailer with family's loved one's remains inside recovered

Stolen U-Haul recovered with body, casket inside
Stolen U-Haul recovered with body, casket inside
Posted at 9:31 PM, Sep 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-12 08:25:56-04

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE/CNN) - When thieves steal a U-Haul trailer from a hotel parking lot, they’re probably thinking of tools, electronics or jewelry inside. But when these thieves saw what was inside the trailer they stole Monday morning, they quickly ditched it.

The Chevy Trailblazer and an attached trailer were stolen from the parking lot of a Residence Inn and then found just down the street, with its cargo still inside.  Albuquerque Police say a couple was traveling from Oklahoma to San Juan County, NM, to bury a relative when they stopped for the night at the hotel.

“Unfortunately and grotesquely, a casket containing the remains of his father-in-law was inside that trailer,” said Officer Tanner Tixier.

About four hours after police got the call on Monday morning about the missing cargo, it turned up abandoned in the a golf course parking lot.

“Vehicle, trailer, and casket with the human remains are still inside,” Tixier said.

People living near the golf course say that crime around the area is normal, but something like this is unheard of.

“I was a little surprised because a casket. Usually a mortuary has a casket and not a U-Haul,” said Camille Ruggiero.

While police admit U-Haul thefts are common in Albuquerque, they say a stolen casket with a body inside is a first. Regardless of the strange crime, the family can get back to properly grieving.

“For the family absolutely, that’s our biggest relief. To bring closure that quickly is always a good thing,” said Officer Tixier.

Earlier in the day, BSCO deputies were involved in a chase with a truck matching the description of the one involved in this crime, a red Silverado. BSCO confirms the three suspects arrested in that case were involved with stealing the U-Haul.

The Silverado truck was also stolen. BSCO says the suspects almost crashed into an unmarked patrol car during the chase.

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