Stolen U-Haul from LaQuinta Inn hotel.jpg

This image, taken from surveillance video at LaQuinta in Covington, shows the U-Haul moving truck and trailer that were stolen overnight Wednesday. The vehicles were recovered early Thursday in Forest Park.

COVINGTON — Law enforcement authorities have located a U-Haul moving truck and trailer stolen 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 Capt. Ken Malcom said the moving truck and trailer were found on the roadside in Forest Park early Thursday morning after the vehicles were stolen shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday from the parking lot of LaQuinta Inn on Access Road.

According to Malcom, the family was moving from South Carolina to Louisiana when they stopped overnight in Covington. At about 8:30 Wednesday morning when they went out to resume their journey, they found the moving truck and trailer — with all their household belongings and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle inside — had been stolen.

Malcom said police were going through the truck Thursday, with their first priority to find the ashes of the couple’s child, who died five years ago. Malcom said police were Facetiming with the couple, who had to continue on to Louisiana, to assist in the search.

Malcom said the search was hindered by the fact that the thieves had gone through all the boxes in the truck, dumping out the contents.

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 drop off a man possibly wearing a gray top, light colored pants and a light-colored baseball cap on a side street next to the hotel at about 1:17 a.m. Wednesday. The man walked along the roadway to the eastern end of the hotel parking lot where the U-Haul was parked, in an effort to avoid the hotel’s surveillance cameras.

A few minutes later the man drove away in the U-Haul traveling west on Access Road. A compact or mid-size car met with the SUV briefly before those vehicles, too, 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.

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