AL family begging for help after father’s cremated remains stolen

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - An Alabama family is pleading for help after someone stole their father’s cremated remains.

A box containing the remains was about to be shipped from Las Vegas to Alabama, but that all changed when someone snatched the package and bolted.

Las Vegas Cremations is offering a $3,000 reward for the safe return of all three sets of cremated remains.

The funeral home manager has told the family that a new detective was supposed to be assigned to the case Monday.

A memorial service was held Saturday for 77-year-old Joel Pugatch, just moments after his daughter’s found out his cremated remains were stolen.

Police are now investigating after someone stole a package that looked like this, containing Joel Pugatch's remains.
Police are now investigating after someone stole a package that looked like this, containing Joel Pugatch's remains.

“He lived across the country, and these people talked about his good heart and how he always wanted to help them and help people around. We just want someone to help him now and bring him home,” said daughter Rachel Storey.

Storey and her three sisters are not only dealing with the loss of their father, but now the loss of his cremated remains.

“Our father passed away in Las Vegas on November 23 and we were hoping to get the remains over the last week or so. We knew they were going to be shipped over the last couple of days, and then to get this phone call, it’s devastating,” said daughter Deborah Pugatch.

She said she got a call from Las Vegas Cremations on Saturday.

(Source: Deborah Pugatch)

“This is not a replaceable item,” said Rachel. “There’s nothing to replace him and we just want him back. We’ve already lost him. Let’s not lose him, the little bit we had.”

The sisters say police are now involved. They hope whoever stole the package finds it in their heart to return it. And they want others to be on the lookout for a package labeled “Cremated Remains.”

Joel Pugatch's daughters are in shock after learning someone stole their father's remains
Joel Pugatch's daughters are in shock after learning someone stole their father's remains (Source: WBRC)

“They said, ‘No questions asked, just bring them back, no questions asked.’ And that’s what we would hope that they would do,” said Deborah.

“I mean, that’s all we want. He wanted to come back to Alabama, we want to bring him back,” said Rachel.

If you have any information, contact Las Vegas Cremations.

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