NEWS: The remains of Julie Mott, 25, were stolen from a Texas funeral home.
Julie Mott died of Cystic Fibrosis on 8 August 2015 at the age of 25; police say her body was stolen from Mission Park Funeral Home in San Antonio shortly thereafter.
Mott's father Tim Mott told San Antonio television station KABB that the bizarre crime was "not an easy thing to talk about," and the owner of the funeral home from which the woman's body was taken struggled to describe the unsettling chain of events after her funeral:
"She was removed from here and taken to a visitation suite and would have moved on Monday to be cremated at the crematory, to Mission South,” says [Robert] Tips, Mission Park Funeral home, owner.
The funeral ended around 1:30 and the building was locked up around 4:30. The next morning, it was discovered that Julie’s body had been taken. Tips says this has never happened in their more than 100 years of business, he is devastated.
"This is a family business of five generations, and I just am not believing that this is happening."
According to local law enforcement, the theft of Mott's body was both brazen and highly unusual:
Investigators suspect someone slipped into the funeral home and removed Mott's body from her casket between the end of her funeral at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 15 and the funeral home's closing at 4:30 p.m., according to the San Antonio Express-News.
Sgt. Javier Salazar told reporters that whoever pulled off the crime — a misdemeanor under San Antonio law — did so in daring fashion, entering the funeral home in broad daylight. There were no signs of forced entry. He noted that the building lacks security cameras and is open to the public.
"In my 22 years in law enforcement, this is the first time I have ever heard of this happening."
Speaking to a different outlet, Tips surmised that the party responsible for the theft was opposed to the planned cremation of Mott's remains. Tips offered a $20,000 reward for the return of Mott's body, saying:
"I can't believe this is happening to such dear friends of mine, and she's a dear friend of mine. This is a person that I know. This is a person that I know, and I want her back."
On 25 August 2015, the San Antonio Express-News reported a possible lead in the case:
A San Antonio Police Department incident report obtained by the Express-News lists a potential suspect in the case who had been “obsessed” with calling and texting the woman and was the last person to leave the funeral home after her service on Aug. 15. His name and relationship to Mott have not yet been released but he's in his 20s, the report said.
However, Mott's remains were not immediately recovered, nor did police indicate her body had been located.