Police: Woman’s body stolen from casket in San Antonio
Article originally appeared on My San Antonio
SAN ANTONIO — Investigators are scouring the city for any clue that could lead them to the body of a 25-year-old woman that was stolen from a funeral home on the Northwest Side last week.
San Antonio Police Department Sgt. Javier Salazar said officers were dispatched to the Mission Park Funeral Chapel North facility, 3401 Cherry Ridge Drive, on Aug. 16 after workers found a casket that had been holding the remains of Julie Mott empty.
Mott died on Aug. 8 from cystic fibrosis, according to Mission Park Funeral Chapels owner Robert Tips.
Tips, a personal friend of the Mott family, said funeral services for the woman were held on Aug. 15, which would have marked her 26th birthday.
After services concluded, the casket holding her body was moved into a hallway where it awaited transfer for cremation, he said.
The next day, however, workers found the casket empty, he said, adding that the funeral home is offering $20,000 for information leading to those responsible.
“We just want our daughter’s remains returned so we can have some closure to our grief,” said Tim Mott, Julie’s father.
Salazar said investigators believe the theft happened sometime between the conclusion of Mott’s funeral services at 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., when staff locked up the facility.
“In my 22 years in law enforcement this is the first time I have ever heard of this happening,” Salazar said.
While Salazar said police are looking into several leads, officers have not yet confirmed whether they have identified a suspect.
“It would be speculation to even assume that it was just one person. It could have been two or several,” he said. “Until we get that crucial piece of evidence leading us to just the right person or people, we just won’t know.”
Tips said authorities believe the individual responsible for the theft may have an ideological opposition to the cremation process, as opposed to traditional burial.
“We feel very strongly that there’s a difference of opinion there,” he said.
Salazar said the case is currently being investigated as abuse of a corpse, a Class A misdemeanor, but more charges could follow as authorities continue to gather more information.
Police are asking anyone with information on the whereabouts of Mott’s remains to call investigators at 210-225-TIPS.
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