VELAND, Ohio — Thieves who stole a hearse with a corpse inside early Wednesday from a Cleveland crematory left a note behind when they abandoned the vehicle so police could find the body.
The 2009 Chrysler was taken from Greenfield Crematory on Lake Court. Police received a call Wednesday about 7 a.m. about an abandoned vehicle in a driveway on East 55th Street, north of St. Clair Avenue.
A dispatcher told a cop that a body should be inside the car. The crematory had reported the theft and the missing body.
The officer did not find the body but found a note saying where the corpse was left. Another officer found the gurney and female corpse about two miles away at Ashland Road and Tivoli Court, police said.
Detectives took pictures of the gurney and corpse before crematory workers retrieved the body.
The thieves also took computer equipment from the crematory. Police are exploring whether the thieves stole the van to haul away the computer equipment, Sgt. Sammy Morris said.
Funeral homes and crematories are sometimes targeted for embalming chemicals, which when mixed with other drugs produce a potent high. It was unclear if any chemicals were taken from Greenfield in the theft.
No one had been arrested in the theft as of late Wednesday.
The corpse was not harmed, said Jim Murphy, president of Schulte & Mahon-Murphy Funeral Home in Lyndhurst. The company owns the van and part of the crematory, officials said.
The corpse was left on the gurney in the vehicle inside a locked building and was scheduled to be cremated Wednesday, Murphy said. He refused to discuss the theft at length.
“Everything is fine,” he said. “No harm done.”