The owners of an Elk Grove carwash are offering a reward to anyone who returns an urn containing ashes. The ashes were taken Thursday when a woman drove off in a stolen car.
The woman dressed in a cookie monster shirt is being described as a true monster.Surveillance video shows her getting inside a red Ford Fusion and driving off. In the back seat was an urn containing the ashes of 80-year-old Melvin Hayes' wife.
"[The suspect] was clever, the way she manipulated him and the whole staff," Premier Car Wash manager Julio Cervantes said.
Cervantes said moments before the car was stolen, he witnessed the suspect talking with the owner of the car.
"At one point, the lady hugged [Hayes]. I just assumed they were together and I just walked away," Cervantes explained. "From then on, at that point, the [Hayes] called me and they were trying to find the car."
Hayes did not know the suspect when he stopped to get his carwash Thursday afternoon. He was carrying his wife's ashes to be blessed by a priest.
When the woman asked for the car keys, an attendant handed them over. Management at the carwash said they feel partly responsible for what happened. They are offering a $1,000 reward for anyone who brings the urn back, no questions asked.
"We really want her to have a proper burial rather than just be tossed or who knows what they could do with it," Cervantes said.
While police have not received any leads on the case, carwash management hopes the $1,000 reward brings someone forward and the ashes get safely returned to their owner.
The missing car is a red 2011 Ford Fusion with license plate number 6ROC306.