SAN ANTONIO – The unnamed suspect believed to have stolen a woman’s body from Mission Park Funeral Home “had been obsessed with calling and texting” the woman, according to a police report.
The body of Julie Mott, 25, was stolen after a service on Aug. 15 at Mission Park Funeral Chapels North at 3401 Cherry Ridge.
The owner of the business believes the corpse was taken between 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. before employees locked up and left.
The police report states the suspect “had been invited to the service the day before and had been the last to leave.”
The suspect could be charged with burglary and abuse of corpse, which is a Class A misdemeanor under Texas law.
“We're really punishing the disrespect rather than the harm to the deceased,” said St. Mary’s University School of Law professor Geary Reamey.
Abuse of corpse could pertain to a wide variety of offenses related to a corpse such as digging up a grave, dumping or improperly disposing of a body, mutilating a body or stealing property off of a body, such as clothing.
Other similar misdemeanors include first offense DWI, assault and criminal trespass.
"A Class A misdemeanor is the most serious misdemeanor, so possible punishments include up to a year in jail,” Reamey said.
Punishment could also include thousands of dollars in fines.
Reamey added that it is possible that a funeral home could be held liable for abuse of a corpse on business property.
"They have a duty of care with respect to the people who have entrusted them with the deceased,” Reamey said. “Obviously, this is something that shocks the conscious of most people.”
Last week, investigators said it is possible the person who stole the corpse opposed the cremation process, which Mott’s family planned to carry out.
Mott died of cystic fibrosis.
A $20,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest in the case. Call 210-225-TIPS to submit a tip.