Body Of 25-Year-Old Woman Stolen From Funeral Home One Day After Service
It's any parent's worst nightmare to watch a child leave this world too soon, but for 25-year-old Julie Mott's parents, the tragedy didn't stop there. Mott suffered from cystic fibrosis and passed away due to complications from the disease on Aug. 8.
The Daily Mail reported that Mott was diagnosed at 2 years old, and doctors didn't expect her to live past 3; the fact that she was able to experience 25 years of life is extraordinary. Despite being bedridden for most of it, she was still able to live a somewhat normal life, even graduating with a degree from San Antonio College in Texas. Her obituary, printed by the Daily Mail, painted the picture of a young woman who was cherished immeasurably by her family:
"Julie lived her life in a house full of love,
Her family was deeply devoted to her living as normal of a life as possible.
Perhaps her greatest relationship was the one she had with her mother.
The bond between a mother and her daughter is always strong, but theirs was stronger.
Through the doctor appointments and the hospital stays, the love they shared for one another grew with each passing day.
Julie will continue to live in the hearts and minds of those who had the pleasure to know and love her."
Mott's funeral was held at Mission Park Funeral Chapels North, a family-owned business, in San Antonio. The ceremony fell on what would have been Mott's 26th birthday, as noted in the Daily Mail. According to KCBD News, employees of the funeral home discovered that Mott's body was missing the day after her service. Investigators are uncertain of when exactly the body was stolen, but they believe the theft occurred before the funeral home closed the previous night.
My San Antonio reported that officials could find no evidence of forced entry into the building, which is what led them to believe that the body was taken during business hours. The facility has no security cameras, so there remains a huge question around how someone was able to smuggle a body out unnoticed.
In the aftermath of the incident, Dick Tips, owner of the funeral home, is urging lawmakers to increase the punishment for such a crime. As it stands, the crime of stealing a human body is classified as a Class A misdemeanor for abuse of a corpse -- a punishment that Tips feels is far too light. San Antonio Police Department Sgt. Javier Salazar told My San Antonio, however, that more charges could be added as investigators learn more details of the case. The main focus of law enforcement officials, however, is to find Mott's body and return it to her family.
In a San Antonio Police Department report obtained by San Antonio Express-News, one potential suspect was listed, although his name and relationship to Mott have not yet been released to the public. The suspect is a male in his 20s, who was allegedly "obsessed" with Mott, calling and texting her frequently. He was also reported to be the last person to leave the funeral home after Mott's service.
Tim Mott, Julie's father, just wants the ordeal to be over, telling KSAT, "We just want our daughter's remains returned so we can have some closure to our grief."
Tips is offering a $20,000 reward for anyone who can provide information that leads to the recovery of Mott's body, and he has asked anyone with information to call (210) 225-8477.