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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Police across Albuquerque were on high alert after thieves stole a vehicle with an unusual and dangerous item inside.

Albuquerque police say thieves stole an SUV and an attached U-Haul trailer early Monday at a Residence Inn motel.

The victim told officers that the U-Haul was carrying a casket, which contained the body of the victim’s father-in-law.

“Unfortunately and grotesquely, a casket containing the remains of his father-in-law was inside that trailer,” Albuquerque Police Department Public Information Officer Tanner Tixier told KOB. “Clearly, his wife was extremely emotional as the body of her father had just been stolen.”

After a search, the casket was found not too far from the site where it was taken.

“We immediately started allocating resources to try and find this vehicle, not only because it’s a heart-wrenching story, but also you’re going to have the safety and the bio-safety of having an unaccounted-for dead body,” Tixier said.


The U-Haul was located after police searched for a black 2005 Chevy Trailblazer SUV with Oklahoma license plates.

Police said the deceased man’s daughter and her husband were on their way from Oklahoma to Kirtland, New Mexico, to bury him.

Three arrests have been made following a pursuit, but it is unclear whether those suspects stole the trailer.