The last thing you expect when you attend a funeral is for something to be missing from the casket when you leave. But that's exactly what happened to the family of 17-year-old Bradley McCombs.
McCombs was tragically killed in a car crash in Pittsburgh on Christmas Day. His open-casket funeral was a few days later. 37-year-old Jody Lynn Bennett was there, and noticed an original Game Boy, three games, and a clip-on light to be buried with the victim. During the funeral, Bennett walked up and grabbed all of the vintage gaming memoribilia and then walked out of the funeral home. Bennett was at the funeral because he went to school with McCombs's father.
McCombs's uncle witnessed the unusual activity and confronted Bennett as he left. Bennett returned the Game Boy but the uncle didn't realize he had more pilfered goods still in his possession. By the time the family noticed the missing games and light, it was too late. They called the police.
"I can confidently say this is the first time in my 22 years that I've had anybody go into the funeral home while the family was there and take something right under their noses and try to get away with it," said Sergeant Michael Schmidt in an Associated Press report.
Bennett has been charged with theft, abuse of a corpse, and intentional desecration of a venerated object. He remains in jail after being unable to post the $15,000 bond. Police estimate his stolen goods, which obviously carried priceless sentimental value to McCombs, were worth about $46.
It is assumed Bennett sold the games to curb his ongoing drug problem. His mother told the AP, "My son's had a drug problem for quite some time, and we've more or less alienated ourselves from him." She has publicly apologized to the McCombs family.
Jan 3, 2011