Police plead for return of body in hearse stolen from outside Calif. church

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department announced late Wednesday that a casket with a corpse inside was taken as part of a car theft outside a church in unincorporated Pasadena, California.

In a tweet that has since gone viral, the sheriff’s office pleaded with whoever stole the hearse, a black Lincoln Navigator that has since been recovered, to do the right thing and return the dead person’s body.

“Out of all the bad decisions you have made, at least make one good one & bring back the deceased person & casket inside the Navigator,” the sheriff’s office wrote.

Deputy Marvin Crowder confirmed to The Washington Post on Thursday that the deceased is an adult female, but police have yet to identify her.

“We don’t know who it is just yet,” Crowder said.

The Navigator was parked in front of Saint Anthony Greek Orthodox Church around 7:45 p.m. Wednesday. The driver, a local mortician, had two bodies in the back of the hearse, Crowder said. The plan was to drop off one of the caskets at the church and head to the next stop.

But the plan drastically changed when the mortician exited the church shortly after 8 p.m.

“The driver dropped off one casket and one body, and the driver comes back and the hearse is gone,” Crowder told The Post.

Police said no arrests have been made in the case. Authorities added that the motive behind the theft remains unclear and that they are uncertain whether the suspect realized there was a corpse in the back of the Navigator.

Crowder said the sheriff’s department called on local agencies and the California Highway Patrol to assist in finding the body and the car.

The response to the Southern California car-and-casket theft was a steady mix of sadness for the family of the deceased and shock over the news.

“A stolen hearse with a dead body in it,” one person said on Twitter. “I’ve seen it all.”

“Hopefully the deceased was someone who would enjoy a crazy ride,” another person noted.

The details surrounding the unusual case left Crowder perplexed.

“I’ve never heard of this before,” Crowder said. “This is outlandish.”

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