An urn containing a woman’s ashes was stolen from a vehicle parked at a local hotel on Thursday, according to Warwick Police, and now the family of the deceased woman is appealing to the public to help and has offered a cash reward for the return of the remains.
The urn – round, silver in color and roughly palm-size – was taken from a black Mazda SUV with Virginia plates at the rear of the La Quinta Inn on Jefferson Boulevard between 9:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m., police said. It had a cubic zirconia (a synthetic diamond) attached to the middle of the lid. No other items were taken from the vehicle.
Police said the victim had attended his grandmother’s funeral earlier on Thursday and was set to return the urn to his family the next day.
“That’s probably why they took it, because it [the zirconia] looked like a diamond,” said Neva Ayala, the daughter of the deceased woman. “They must have thought it was something they could sell and they may not know what was in the urn.”
Ayala said they were offering a cash reward for the return of the urn but preferred not to say how much.
According to police, a silver 2001 Mazda with Rhode Island plates was seen driving in the parking lot of the Motel 6, which is near the La Quinta Inn, at the time of the theft, possibly checking for unlocked vehicles. A responding officer was unable to locate the Mazda.
Police said similar larcenies from vehicles parked at hotels in the Jefferson Boulevard area have occurred over roughly the last month. It is believed the person or persons behind those thefts is responsible for stealing the urn.
“The thief may not realize what he stole and may attempt to discard or pawn the item,” reads a statement from Warwick Police Major Raymond E. Gallucci Jr. “The family requests that the individual responsible please advise someone of its location so the urn and its contents can be returned safely.”
Anyone with additional information is asked to contact the Warwick Police Department Detective Division at 468-4233. Neva Ayala can be reached at 265-3710.