LOS ANGELES — Authorities have recovered a stolen mortuary vehicle that had a body inside it Thursday morning following a police pursuit on a major Los Angeles freeway, officials said.
The body was found in a casket inside the vehicle and one person was in custody, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said on Twitter. No other information was immediately available.
Authorities said the vehicle that crashed on the 110 Freeway around 7:45 a.m. Thursday is the black Lincoln Navigator that was stolen from outside St. Anthony Greek Orthodox Church in East Pasadena on Wednesday night.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Benjamin Grubb told KTLA-TV that a member of the public reported seeing the SUV. The Los Angeles Police Department pursued the vehicle, which ultimately crashed on the freeway. Video footage from news helicopters showed that it has heavy front-end damage.
The Body Did Not Appear to Have Been Disturbed
Grubb said while the body did not appear to have been disturbed, it was unfortunate that the family of the dead person “has to be put through further trauma.”
The sheriff’s department had appealed to the thief on social media Wednesday to return the 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,” it t weeted.
Local media have reported that the body remained in the vehicle while a mortuary attendant brought a different body into the church and that’s when the SUV was stolen.
The Sheriff’s Department did not identify the mortuary involved.