COVINGTON – Law enforcement found a U-Haul moving truck and trailer from a local motel that contained all of a family’s belongings – including the ashes of their son, who died at the age of 6 months.

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

According to Malcom, the family moved from South Carolina to Louisiana when they stopped in Covington overnight. When they left at around 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning, they found that the moving truck and trailer – with all their household items and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle inside – had been stolen.

Malcom said police drove through the truck on Thursday with the first priority to find the ashes of the couple’s child, who died five years ago. Malcom said police facetimed the couple, who had to continue to Louisiana to help find them.

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Malcom said the search was hampered by the fact that the thieves sifted through all the boxes in the truck and threw the contents away.

At least three people are suspected of stealing the truck and trailer, according to Covington Police. Video surveillance footage from the hotel showed a large black SUV that had dropped a man, who may be wearing a gray top, light-colored pants, and light-colored baseball cap, on a side street next to the hotel at around 1:17 a.m. on Wednesday. The man walked down the street to the east end of the hotel parking lot where the U-Haul was parked to avoid the hotel’s surveillance cameras.

A few minutes later the man was driving west in the U-Haul on Access Road. A compact or medium-sized car met briefly with the SUV before those vehicles also drove away. The SUV followed the U-Haul west on Access Road.

Malcom said the truck had front-end damage when it was recovered in Clayton County.