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Father in search of daughter’s ashes after truck stolen

Patrick Sanabria is looking for a necklace with his 1-year-old daughters ashes inside that was around the rearview mirror of his stolen Ford Ranger.
Published: Nov. 3, 2021 at 11:46 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Tuesday Patrick Sanabria and his wife were hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near the North Carolina border. The two started the hike a little after 8:00 a.m. and ended just around noon.

When the two returned to the spot they parked in, Sanabria’s White 1997 Ford Ranger was gone, stolen.

”'97 Ford ranger, five-speed, hole in the tailgate, not a bad truck but not a truck you would think someone would steal,” said Sanabria.

While he doesn’t have his daily driver anymore, there was a small item inside the truck, hanging from the rear-view mirror that he wants back the most.

”I got maybe five minutes of walking in and realized what I’d left on the rearview mirror there and just broke down there in the middle of the gravel road, it’s like I lost her all over again,” said Sanabria.

Sanabria’s 1-year-old daughter died the day after her first birthday in May.

To remember his baby girl, Sanabria bought an owl pendant off of Etsy and put some of her ashes inside to carry with him always.

”It’s crazy, it blows my mind,” said Sanabria.

He isn’t worried about his truck, but he is worried about trying, anyway he can, to get that necklace back.

”Even that little pendant, that little piece, like I said it’s like losing her all over again. Like she’s already gone and they just took a little bit more. It sucks that those people exist,” said Sanabria.

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park issued the following statement about thefts in the park when reached for comment.

“While infrequent, property crime does occur within Great Smoky Mountains National Park. U.S. Park Rangers are trained to investigate and prosecute property crime offenses that occur in the park and actively patrol parking areas as a deterrent. However, we encourage our visitors to take precautions by not leaving valuables unattended while enjoying the park, especially on park trailheads. You can help Rangers fight property crime by reporting suspicious activity by calling 865-436-9171,” said Acting Chief Ranger Jeff Glossop.

If anyone finds the necklace they are asked to call police.

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