COVINGTON, Ga. — A military support nonprofit announced it has collected $3,000 for a reward for the return of the urn containing the remains of an Air Force couple's son after thieves stole a U-Haul truck containing the item from outside a Covington hotel this week.
Bossier City, Louisiana-based EveryWarrior has "collected amongst our volunteer staff and been met with a generous anonymous donation to create a reward of $3,000 toward the return" of baby Wyatt’s remains, the organization stated in a letter to the Covington Police Department.
Thieves stole the 26-foot truck and an attached trailer from outside LaQuinta Inn on Access Road early Wednesday, March 3, while Ben and Kassandra Benton slept inside the hotel.
The vehicles contained all of the Bentons' belongings, valued at $25,000, which they were moving from South Carolina after Ben was transferred to an Air Force base in Louisiana.
Among the items were a black, heart-shaped urn with gold trim that contained the remains of their six-month-old son, Wyatt, who died five years ago.
The truck was found abandoned and ransacked on the side of a south Atlanta road. A search of the remaining items did not find the urn, Covington Police reported.
Officials with EveryWarrior said in an email to Covington Police, "Firstly, we want to say thank you to your department for all you are doing to try and help Ben and Kassandra locate their belongings, and specifically the remains of Wyatt.
"We have been touched by the outpouring of support from your community and those local to us in the Shreveport/Bossier City community. I know your efforts are of comfort as Ben continues to serve in the Air Force here.
"Secondly, we at EveryWarrior are a local military support 501c3 and we have wrapped our arms of support around this young family as best as we can. We now feel led to offer our support to your team to hopefully expedite the return of Wyatt’s remains to the Bentons. .
"We appreciate the efforts of your team and understand this is a difficult task, but as we get to know more about this fantastic young warrior family, we can’t sit back and not try to help. This family lost Wyatt at just six months old and we hate to see them feeling like they are losing their baby again."
It stated it would work with Covington Police on the "logistics" of giving out a reward.
Those with information about the case are asked to contact the Covington Police Department at 770-385-2122.