The Albuquerque Police Department said a Chevy Trailblazer SUV and the U-Haul it was towing were stolen Monday morning from outside the Residence Inn.
“Inside the U-Haul was a casket, containing the body of the victim’s father-in-law,” police said in a statement.
Police said the couple was driving from Oklahoma to San Juan County to bury the man when they stopped for the night at the hotel.
Investigators said the SUV, trailer and its precious cargo were foundabandoned about four hours after the initial report in the parking lot of the Puerto Del Sol Golf Course.
“Vehicle, trailer, and casket with the human remains are still inside,” Officer Tanner Tixier told KRQE-TV.
Tixier said a hotel employee who witnessed the theft told police a Chevy Silverado pickup truck appeared to be involved in the incident. Police stopped a truck matching the description after a short chase and three suspects were arrested.
The Silverado truck had also been stolen, police said.