World War II veteran's stolen U-Haul with wife's ashes inside found in SoCal

CHATSWORTH, LOS ANGELES -- David Hollister has seen a lot in his 93 years, but the World War II veteran can't believe what someone did that turned his family's life upside down.

His family says late Sunday night, someone stole a 20-foot U-Haul truck parked outside a Travelodge in Chatsworth. Everything Hollister owns was packed inside for his planned move to Seattle to live with one of his sons.

"I've got many years of stuff. I've got paintings of some of my ancestors in the 1830s," Hollister said.

The ashes of his wife Laurie were also inside. Laurie passed away in 2012.

The U-Haul was found in Canoga Park Monday. It appeared a powered wheelchair and some family paintings, certain ones dating back to the 1800s, were not left in the truck and were stolen, the family said.

The family was able to recover some family photos and the most important treasure: the granite block holding the ashes of the war veteran's wife.

"My wife's ashes were in a block of granite that they put together. There's room on her side and room for me on the other side," Hollister said. "The idea would be we would both be in there and then we would be dumped together in the ocean, which is the place we both wanted to be."

The Hollisters said social media helped track down the truck. A friend posted on a Chatsworth's blog about the truck and what was inside, and within 10 minutes police located it.

"I was shocked. I actually was shaking, felt sick to my stomach. I mean it's all of my father's belongings, but it's literally my whole family's life," said David's son, David Hollister Jr.

The family says the items are worthless to the thieves. They are pleading for those responsible to leave all of David's belongings somewhere.
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