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COVINGTON – Law enforcement officials located a stolen U-Haul moving truck and trailer from a local motel that contained all of a couple’s belongings – including the ashes of their son who died five years ago years old at the age of 6 months.

Covington Police Captain Ken Malcom said the moving van and trailer were found on the side of the road in Forest Park early Thursday morning after the vehicles were stolen shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday on LaQuinta Inn parking lot on Access Road.

Malcom said the thieves went through all the boxes on the truck, unloading and scattering the contents. They took several pieces of furniture and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle from the U-Haul truck and trailer. Although police searched the truck throughout Thursday morning, Malcom said she was unable to locate the child’s ashes, which were contained in a heart-shaped box.

Malcom said CPD agents also searched timber and dumpsters near where the truck and trailer were found in case thieves threw any items there.

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According to Malcom, the family was moving from South Carolina to Louisiana when they stopped overnight in Covington. At around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, when they got out to resume their trip, they discovered that the moving truck and trailer had been stolen.

At least three people are suspected of stealing the truck and trailer, according to Covington Police. CCTV footage from the hotel showed a large black SUV dropping off a man possibly wearing a gray top, light-colored pants and a light-colored baseball cap on a side street next to the ‘hotel around 1:17 am Wednesday. The man walked along the causeway to the eastern end of the hotel parking lot where the U-Haul was parked, in an attempt to avoid the hotel’s surveillance cameras.

A few minutes later, the man left in a U-Haul heading west on Access Road. A compact or midsize car encountered the SUV briefly before these vehicles too left. The SUV followed U-Haul West on Access Road.

Malcom said the truck sustained front damage when it was picked up in Clayton County.

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