Can you imagine having to call the family of a person who died and tell them that their loved one’s body was stolen? That’s what an Atlanta funeral home director had to do on Sunday and he says it was not easy to explain.
“When you think about it. Even the dead cannot rest in peace,” said Watkins Funeral Home Director Willie Watkins. Watkins says he is shocked by the lack of respect shown by a man who stole a vehicle that was headed to his funeral home on Sunday morning. Watkins says a man attacked his driver as he was loading a body into the back seat of the SUV as it was parked outside the morgue. The man then snatched the driver’s keys.
“He was in shock and awe, like what’s going on? You know what I mean? He thought the guy was just standing there,” said Darryl Watkins, who works at the funeral home. The parking lot was supposed to be closed off to the public, but the man who stole the car may have been a patient who escaped from inside Grady Memorial Hospital, which is located in downtown Atlanta.
“I understand this guy was already being looked for at Grady Hospital. He might have been a mental patient. We really don’t know,” said Watkins. The patient ditched the SUV after crashing it through the parking lot’s locked fence. After he abandoned the funeral home’s vehicle, police say the man force his way behind the wheel of another driver’s car and kept running until he was eventually caught on Sunday afternoon. The suspect’s name was not released.
Watkins says it was tough breaking the news to the deceased man’s family. “Well, they were very upset until we explained to them what happened,” he said. Watkins said that the man who stole the vehicle definitely knew there was a body inside.