In San Antonio, Texas, a woman’s body was stolen from her casket following her service at the funeral home.
Julie Mott, 25, died from cystic fibrosis.
Mott’s service ended around 1:00 p.m. or 1:30 p.m. at the Mission Parks Funeral Chapel on Aug. 15. Her remains were moved to a private visitation area in the back of the funeral home, where they went missing sometime before the home closed around 4:30 p.m.
"We just want our daughter's remains returned so we can have some closure to our grief," said Julie’s father, Tim Mott, to KHOU.
Police are hoping the public may offer some assistance in locating her body.
"Our intelligence unit has been investigating it literally around the clock," San Antonio Police Department Sgt. Javier Salazar said. "And so we're hoping that the public that hears about this case may be able to shed some light on it."
Police do not believe Mott’s remains were removed after the funeral home closed because an alarm at the facility was not triggered and there did not appear to be any forced entry.
"The next morning when they came back to the funeral home, they discovered that the casket Ms. Mott had been in for the service was actually empty," Sgt. Salazar said. "Her remains had been removed."
Mission Parks Funeral Home is offering a $20,000 reward to help catch the individual responsible for taking Mott’s body. It is the first time in the 108-year history of the funeral home that a body has gone missing, reports New York Daily News.
"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.
"Whoever did it was pretty daring about it," Sgt. Salazar said, adding that it could have been one person because Mott was petite.
“Our No. 1 priority, of course, is getting her back to her family,” Sgt. Salazar said. “A close second is to find out who the person was who did it and bring them to justice.”
Anyone with information should call 210-225-TIPS.