Greeley police return parent’s ashes to victim after April vehicle theft

Greeley police reunited a Texas woman with her parent’s ashes that were inside her vehicle when it was stolen in late April.

Kimberly Magnusson reported April 28 to the Greeley Police Department that her Hyundai Tucson was stolen from a property in west Greeley. 

Magnusson came from Texas to pick up the ashes of both her parents, according to a Greeley police news release. The ashes, along with an American flag gifted to her family for her father’s service in the military, were inside her Hyundai at the time of the theft.

For several weeks, officers and property unit detectives from the investigations unit tracked down leads, spoke with people and worked to identify a suspect, the release said.

On May 27, almost a month after the theft, Hudson police officers located the stolen vehicle in the Love’s Travel Stop parking lot, at 201 Bison Highway. Hudson police contacted a male suspect, 37-year-old Nickolas Anderson, inside the business.

Anderson was booked into the Weld County Jail for charges including aggravated motor vehicle theft, unlawful drug distribution, false reporting to authorities and a failure to appear, according to online court records.

Weld Judge Allison Esser set Anderson’s bond to $20,000, online court records said. A disposition hearing is set for 3:30 p.m. Friday.

Although law enforcement closed the case and recovered Magnusson’s car, detectives understood the outcome the victim wanted involved retrieving the important belongings inside the car.

“While vehicles and most items can be replaced, there are some things that no amount of money could buy,” Greeley Detective Sergeant Pfeiler said. “For Ms. Magnusson and her son, that was her parent’s ashes and her father’s flag from his military service.”

At the jail, Detective Jerry Burroughs interviewed the suspect in hopes to recover the ashes and flag. After the interview, Burroughs located the items.

Police returned the flag and ashes to Magnusson’s son at the Greeley Police Department.

“I’m incredibly proud of the work Detective Burroughs and the entire unit did going above and beyond in this case to ultimately recover and return these irreplaceable items to the Magnusson family,” Pfeiler said.

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