Man's Ashes Stolen Before His Funeral

By Erika Okano
|  Tuesday, Mar 8, 2011  |  Updated 12:00 PM PDT
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A widow is hoping whoever stole her husband's ashes from an <a title=Alameda church will return them." />

NBC Bay Area

A widow is hoping whoever stole her husband's ashes from an Alameda church will return them.

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A family mourning the loss of a father and husband now has more to worry about after someone stole his ashes before the funeral.

Marvin Hockabout's family was getting ready for his memorial service at the Christ Episcopal Church in Alameda on Saturday when someone walked in and stole the backpack containing his ashes.

"It was completely surreal," Hockabout's son Chris told NBC Bay Area. "It's you showing up to your father's memorial service, the last thing you expect to hear is someone has made away with the ashes and at the time all you can really do is laugh because going the other direction, takes you to kind of a dark place and you really don't want to go there."

Hockabout's family does not think the thief knew what was inside the backpack. They do not care who took the remains or why, they just want them back.

"We wanted to take it on a pilgrimage to several places here in the United States as well as in Europe and that was the plan," said Hockabout's widow Eleonore. "Those ashes are really only important to us and they're important to us for a lot of reasons and there's something about...it's like there's been something left undone and we can't get that done until his remains are returned."

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