Crime - Sacto 911

Man loses car – and his wife’s ashes – in car wash caper

A man lost more than his vehicle when it was stolen from an Elk Grove car wash Wednesday – an urn containing his wife’s ashes was on the backseat.

The incident happened around noon Wednesday, when Melvin Hayes, 80, stopped at the Premier Car Wash on Orchard Loop Drive at Power Inn Road to get his vehicle washed. He was on his way to have his late wife’s ashes blessed by his priest.

While Hayes was waiting for his car to be washed, he was approached by a woman who engaged him in conversation. When it was time for Hayes to retrieve his car, the car wash attendant mistakenly released the vehicle to the woman, believing that she and Hayes were at the car wash together.

She took off in the car, with the urn containing the ashes of Hayes’ wife in the backseat. It was not clear where Hayes was when the car was released to the woman.

The suspect is described as a short, heavy set female in her 40s. The car is a red 2011 Ford Fusion, with the license plate 6ROC306.

If anyone has information on this case, call the California Highway Patrol at (916) 681-2300 or the CHP Communications Center at (916) 861-1300.