3rd Update: Body Stolen from Texas Funeral Home Aug 23, 2015 17:07:50 GMT -5
Post by Joanna on Aug 23, 2015 17:07:50 GMT -5
Young Woman's Body Stolen from Texas Funeral Home
SAN ANTONIO, Tex. – A 25-year-old woman’s body was stolen from her casket in a Texas funeral home in broad daylight, baffling police and forcing her family to deal with losing her a second time. Julie Mott (above) died August 8 following a life-long battle with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe. Her body was stolen after her funeral in San Antonio August 15 – which would have been her 26th birthday – Sgt. Javier Salazar told the Daily News.
The next morning, when staff members were preparing to take her for cremation, they found the casket had been broken into and Mott’s body was missing. But there were no signs of forced entry at the Mission Parks Funeral Chapel North and no alarms had sounded or been tampered with overnight. This means her body was likely taken from a private viewing area between the end of the service at 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. the following day. “Whoever did it was pretty daring about it,” Salazar said, noting the crime could have been committed by just one person or a group because Mott was a petite lady. As to motive, “the possibilities are endless” and police will wait until they have apprehended a suspect to say why the crime occurred, he said. “Our No. 1 priority, of course, is getting her back to her family,” he added. “A close second is to find out who the person was who did it and bring them to justice.”
Julie’s father, Tim Mott, begged for help finding his daughter’s body. “We just want our daughter’s remains returned so we can have some closure to our grief,” he implored, according to KHOU.
The situation is especially heart-wrenching because Mott was expected to live to no more than 3-years-of-age, Salazar said. But her family “encouraged her to live” and have fun. She became a “vibrant, typical young girl” who loved to horseback ride but spent many days bedridden, he added. “It’s heartbreaking to see a family that went through all that with her…now being put through this before being able to go through mourning and get the closure any family needs.”
Friends mourned the second loss of the San Antonio College graduate who brought joy into their lives, despite her pain. “So disturbing and unbelievable that someone would do this. RIP Julie and prayers to your family in this horrible time,” friend Jessica Payne wrote.
“My dear Julie, the girls and I will not rest until you do,” friend Bryan Cornwell wrote on a memorial page. “It’s been a mean world without you. I love you more than life itself.”
The body theft is the first in the funeral home’s 108-year history. The crime is not common. “This is an unprecedented and unthinkable event and we are doing everything in our power to cooperate with the ongoing police investigation,” funeral director Robert Tips said in a statement.
The funeral home’s owners are close friends with the Mott family and knew Julie since she was born, making them “outraged” by “this shameful act,” Tips said. “They are a wonderful family and the loss of their daughter was a heavy burden for them to bear.”
The funeral home is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the body’s discovery. Anyone with information is asked to call 210-225-TIPS.
Source: Rachelle Blinder, The New York Daily News, August 22, 2015.