Police: Thieves snatch U-Haul truck, urn containing infant’s ashes

Family was traveling through Georgia before moving truck and ashes were stolen

A family is pleading with thieves who stole its U-Haul, which contained an urn with ashes of its 6-month-old baby.

Kassandra and Benjamin Benson told news station WMAZ-TV that they were traveling when they stopped for a night at a hotel in Covington.

Benjamin Benson said after spending Tuesday night at the hotel, they woke up to find that their moving truck was nowhere to be found.

“I was on the phone with my friend and I’m like, ‘the U-Haul is gone.’ I started looking around and was making sure it didn’t roll back and then it hit, ‘oh, my gosh, the U-Haul is gone,’ ” he recalled.

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About 1 a.m. Wednesday, surveillance video at the La Quinta Inn, located in the 9100 block of Access Road NW, showed a man wearing a gray-colored top, light-colored pants and a light-colored baseball cap stepping out of a large black SUV. A car pulled up to the SUV, and within moments, the SUV and the U-Haul truck drove away.

The U-Haul was found several miles from the hotel, and it appeared the clothing, household goods and other items had been ransacked, Covington Police Capt. Ken Malcom told the news station. The one item they did not find was the urn with the ashes of the couple’s son, who died five years ago.

“He was born early, at 24 weeks,” said Benjamin Benson said. “I delivered him at home. It wasn’t planned that way, but it happened.”

“He lived six months. The last month was in hospice. And now we ended up losing his ashes, one of the most important things to us,” Kassandra Benson shared in an interview.

Malcom said the department is investigating and determining the contents of the truck.

“That’s our number one priority right now. Hopefully we can find anything at all that is connected to their son. That’s most important right now. This breaks our heart. We’re parents, and it just hurts us. So we’re going to do all we can,” said Malcom. “We need help.”

Thousands of dollars worth of items were in the U-Haul, including a 2018 Harley Davidson XL883N Iron motorcycle, police said. The motorcycle has a South Carolina tag number ZG5291. The motorcycle is black with the vehicle identification number of 1HD4LE215JC422632.

A reward will be offered by Covington Police for information leading to an arrest in this case. Anyone with information can call the Covington Police Department at 770-385-2122.