Archive for Thursday, May 31, 2012

Man’s car containing his mother’s ashes stolen from Lawrence parking lot

In April, William Patterson, Lawrence, had his car stolen with and urn and his mother's ashes inside. Because he has few other items to remember her by he hopes to get the urn back. Wednesday, May 30, 2012, Patterson holds one of the few photographs he has of his mother, Angela Capell, Lawrence.

In April, William Patterson, Lawrence, had his car stolen with and urn and his mother's ashes inside. Because he has few other items to remember her by he hopes to get the urn back. Wednesday, May 30, 2012, Patterson holds one of the few photographs he has of his mother, Angela Capell, Lawrence.

May 31, 2012


William Patterson has been searching for much more than his white 2001 Oldsmobile Alero since it was stolen in April from the Dillons parking lot, 1015 W. 23rd St.

An urn with the ashes of his mother, 49-year-old Angela Capell, who died March 10, were inside.

“Everything hinged on that car, and it’s just been really hard,” said the 22-year-old Lawrence man. “When it rains, it pours.”

Patterson had inherited the Alero and was using it not only as his only means of transportation but to store his belongings as he’s been living with friends trying to make it through a rough patch.

According to a Lawrence police report made April 11, the vehicle valued at $3,000 was stolen the afternoon of April 10 from the parking lot. Patterson said his girlfriend was using the car, and it was stolen while she was shopping. He said the vehicle was locked and secure when it was taken.

His birth certificate, most of his clothing, stereo equipment and other valuables were inside. He has been staying with friends in the last few weeks, but he said not being able to use the car has created hardships, including losing his job.

The car is also another connection for Patterson to his mother’s memory because he said she was kind and would often give friends rides in it if needed.

Patterson said he is hopeful the vehicle can be recovered. Friends last week also believed they saw the vehicle in the same store’s parking lot, and he stayed there for several hours hoping to see it again. Patterson said friends talked to people at gas stations and convenience stores along 23rd Street to see if they had seen anything.

Kim Murphree, a Lawrence police spokeswoman, said earlier this week that security camera footage police examined amid a report of the vehicle returning to the same parking lot was inconclusive.

Patterson said the car has features that make it easy to identify, including a smiley face in red spray paint on the hood and rear fins that are silver instead of white, the car’s main color.

He hopes attention to the case would help him at least recover the urn with his mother’s ashes.

“They’re irreplaceable. They’re priceless,” he said. “It makes me angry and sad and depressed. It’s hard to get up and start your day every day with just the weight of this one me, as well as the fact that it’s hard to get done every day what I need to get done without the car.”


Amy Heeter 5 years, 11 months ago

Omg like the thief hasn't noticed the ashes. Loser return that at least.

Beth Ann Bittlingmayer 5 years, 11 months ago

That is not your business to decide. It's a very personal issue and one that should be respected by others.

Beth Ann Bittlingmayer 5 years, 11 months ago

If you had been expressing a perspective then you would have said something such as "in my view ..." or "my feeling is ...". Instead you questioned others' views by saying "Why do people keep ashes? Let go. Hold onto what was vital"

What is "vital" is not your business to decide. What is "letting go" is not your business to decide. "Why" people make the particular choices they do in this situation is not your business. All that is your business is your set of choices in this situation.

Those choices are a deeply personal and spiritual issue. I make no judgment about what you decided to do with your son's ashes. I find it offensive that you call into question what I might have done with my son's ashes (I too lost a son). I shouldn't have to justify my choice to you or anyone else. This young man should be afforded the same courtesy. Each of us has grieved a significant loss. Each of us should be afforded the space to do so in a loving, caring, and non judgmental atmosphere.

Terry Sexton 5 years, 11 months ago

Not everything has to be prefaced with "in my view" or similar qualifiers. It is obviously tange's view because tange is the one who wrote it. I found nothing disrespectful or offensive about tange's comments.

somedude20 5 years, 11 months ago

The "let go" killed any goodwill with his "question."

gatekeeper 5 years, 11 months ago

When my brother passed, we had jewelry made for his kids with a small amount of their dad's ashes in them. They wear them all the time. They also have the rest of the ashes in an urn.

My father passed last fall. I still have some of his ashes with me and some I will be letting go while skydiving - he was Airborne and would love it.

The point is that you do what makes you feel the best when you lose someone. If it helps those left behind to keep the ashes, then they should keep them.

It's pretty rude for someone else to judge how others grieve. You SHOULD understand this, having lost your son.

gatekeeper 5 years, 11 months ago

Everyone mourns and handles death differently and what you consider vital isn't necessarily what others may consider vital. You should expect some comments back when passing judgement on how someone else handles the death of a loved one.

SB2013 5 years, 11 months ago

This is just disgusting and heart breaking. Why do we keep the ashes because we do not wish to let go . . .

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 11 months ago

I want to be cremated and my ashes put in a urn that is forest green with one red rose. I want the urn placed in a niche in a cemetary. I want the family to remember me once a year with a keg party, or more if they so decide.

James Findley 5 years, 11 months ago

Good job LJ I only saw this story a week and a half ago on KC's nbc station..

Clara Westphal 5 years, 11 months ago

My daughter in-law threw my oldest son's ashes in the Atlantic Ocean at Revere Beach. My heart still aches over that.

irvan moore 5 years, 11 months ago

this is the kid the city should be helping with the dollars spent "solving" the homeless problem, a real live douglas county city of lawrence resident

waiting 5 years, 11 months ago

So of course I had to check. Wonder if it is the same guy. Karma?

JackMcKee 5 years, 11 months ago

I'm sorry, but what was this guy doing driving around with his mother's remains in his car?

MarcoPogo 5 years, 11 months ago

Aren't you supposed to be pointing out that the girlfriend was driving the car when this happened?

JackMcKee 5 years, 11 months ago

Did the story say there was an accident? Maybe I missed that part.

jonas_opines 5 years, 11 months ago

That sucks. I had a backpack that got lifted out of my car back before I learned my lesson about making sure my doors were locked all the time (how I learned that lesson, in fact). Lost a walkman and a textbook, no great loss.

But I also lost a notebook inside it, that had about 50 pages of notes for a runic-style language that I had been writing from scratch for a fantasy story in my head. The entire phonetic alphabet in characters, sort of a genealogical history of how the language would be developed, and about 20 pages of extremely thought-out translations of words, starting with what I thought would be the most common and making my way out from there. It was a crushing blow.

Also, rather than being cremated, I want to have a ceremony and then be catapulted whole into a volcano by a trebuchet.

devieh 5 years, 11 months ago

it says the car was locked and secured. so i don't think there is a "lesson" to be learned for this young man.

pizzapete 5 years, 11 months ago

The lesson being, don't keep valuables in your car. Your car insurance doesn't cover the contents, ie., what your keep in your car. I feel sorry for this guy that he apparently didn't have a safer place, maybe a storage locker, a friend's house, etc., where he could keep his personal belongings. I hope the police are able to catch the thief and recover his things, especially the urn.

repaste 5 years, 10 months ago

I would put money on that one being false - for posters above, this car was hie primary residence, not that that is a bad thing.

5 years, 11 months ago

I have seen that car here in Lawrence. I want to say downtown but can' t be sure because it has been over a week now.

somedude20 5 years, 11 months ago

I would like to smoke or snort some of ole Keith Richard's that stuff would go for $3,000 a gram

Eugehne Normandin 5 years, 10 months ago

This news is a day late and a dollar short. Why is this news now instead of when it happened ?

bornon7 5 years, 10 months ago

When one of my dogs passed away, in 2006, the vet asked if I wanted him cremated. I said, "sure." I didn't want them to toss good Jake in their trash bin!! I have Jake's ashes, but I am not sure what to do with them. Are they really HIS? How does a person know, really? My son and husband don't realize Jake is still "with us" in a cupboard in our dining room.

Jenna McNallen 5 years, 10 months ago

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