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UPDATED Alameda police recover stolen remains

Submitted by on 1, March 9, 2011 – 1:45 pmNo Comment

Updated 2:26 p.m. Wednesday, March 9

Police have recovered some of a man’s cremated remains which were stolen from an Alameda church as the man’s family and church staff made funeral preparations Saturday, the Alameda Police Department reported Wednesday afternoon.

Alameda Police Lt. Sean Lynch said a 35-year-old Oakland man spotted one of the two fiberboard boxes containing the deceased’s ashes on the 400 block of 29th Avenue in Oakland on Monday night, then returned to recover the box Tuesday night after hearing media reports about their disappearance. He said the man returned the ashes Wednesday morning to Christ Episcopal Church on Santa Clara Avenue, and that the church then called police.

Police searched the area for the second box of remains but were unable to locate it, Lynch said. He said the remains that were returned to police were intact and that arrangements are being made to return them to the family.

The deceased man has been identified in press reports as Marvin Kent Hockabout, 74, a longtime State Department worker and world traveler. Police said they believed someone stole a backpack Saturday that held Hockabout’s remains and his expired diplomatic passport from a table near the altar of the church that were to be used in his memorial service later that day.

Lynch said police don’t have any suspects in the alleged theft, but he appealed to the public to return the rest of Hockabout’s remains to police or the church.

“We certainly ask anyone who has knowledge or is in possession of this item to return it, no questions asked,” Lynch said. “We would like to get it to the family.”

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