Woman Steals Van with Dead Body Inside

A woman from Azle, a rural suburb of Fort Worth, Texas, was taken into custody this week following allegations of stealing a mortuary van, which contained a deceased body, from a hospital parking lot. Valerie Traglor-Ellis, 36, is facing charges of automobile theft and abuse of a corpse, as per the Fort Worth Police Department.

The incident occurred on Tuesday evening, around 7 p.m., when the police received a report of a stolen vehicle from one of the parking lots of John Peter Smith Hospital on South Main Street. The hospital, known for its emergency room and psychiatric services, is a publicly-funded trauma center run by Tarrant County and is situated in the city’s Hospital District.

According to the police, a mortuary transport van driver had left his vehicle, with the deceased body inside, to collect another body from within the hospital. Upon his return, he discovered that both the van and the body were missing. The police spokesperson stated that an adult female suspect had entered the van without the driver’s permission and fled the scene.

The stolen van was found a short distance away, approximately two miles west on Park Place Avenue, a long, sloping road that forms the eastern boundary of the 64-acre Fort Worth Zoo. The police confirmed that both the stolen and the deceased body were located and recovered without any damage.

Surveillance footage allegedly captured the suspect exiting the van and fleeing the scene, as reported by Dallas-based Fox affiliate KDFW. The police apprehended the suspect without any incident and transported to the Fort Worth City Jail. The vehicle and the deceased person were subsequently released to the mortuary service driver.

The motive behind the incident remains unclear, and law enforcement officials have refrained from making any public speculations regarding the alleged thefts.