Man's Car Stolen With Father's Ashes Inside, Pleading for Return

The ashes had been inside the car, along with a cellphone that held the final message from his father.

A San Diego man, who had his car stolen last week, is asking for the person responsible to return his father’s ashes to him. The ashes had been inside the car, along with a cellphone that held a final message from his father.

Zachary Johnson, 22, moved into his new apartment on the 800 block of Date Street in downtown San Diego Friday night.

He told NBC 7 that he had parked his 2011 White Chevy Malibu in front of his apartment but the next morning, he couldn’t locate it. He said at first he thought his car may have been towed and began making phone calls.

After a while, he realized it had been stolen.

Johnson said he doesn’t care about getting his car back—he just wants his father’s ashes returned to him.

"It’s like I lost him again. It’s not as devastating but pretty close,” he said. “I thought I'd always have him, his ashes with me—now it looks like I'm not going to.”

Johnson told NBC 7 that he had listened to the message his father left on the cellphone from time to time for strength.

“It was just telling me that he loved me and stuff,” he said. “I missed his call so he left me a voicemail. It was a week before he passed away.”

Also in the car were mementos of Johnson’s life, including his high school diploma.

“Everything in there is replaceable except the stuff they gave me and my dad's ashes. They can keep it all. I would do anything to get that stuff back. It’s very heartbreaking,” he said.

Johnson said his father’s ashes are in a wooden box shaped like a cross with jewels on it. He's hoping the person who took will return it to him, along with the cellphone.

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