Patrick Sanabria and his wife arrived at the national park last week, on Tuesday to hike but on returning his car was nowhere to be seen.
The grief that a Tennessee man felt after losing his daughter was beyond comprehension. Unfortunately, he was forced to relive the devastating moment all over again after her ashes were stolen along with his car when he went out hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains. According to local CBS affiliate WVLT. Patrick Sanabria and his wife arrived at the national park last week, on Tuesday to hike. However, when they returned the man's White 1997 Ford Ranger was missing from the spot where it was parked earlier that day. But the loss of his car didn't affect him as much as losing a locket he hung from the rearview mirror. Apparently, it contained the ashes of his late 1-year-old child.
"I got maybe five minutes of walking in and realized what I'd left on the rearview mirror there and just broke down there in the middle of the gravel road. It's like I lost her all over again," Sanabria told WVLT. Addressing the recent auto theft, Acting Chief Ranger Jeff Glossop told WVLT, "While infrequent, property crime does occur within Great Smoky Mountains National Park. U.S. Park Rangers are trained to investigate and prosecute property crime offenses that occur in the park and actively patrol parking areas as a deterrent." He added, "However, we encourage our visitors to take precautions by not leaving valuables unattended while enjoying the park, especially on park trailheads."
Describing his car as a "97 Ford ranger, five-speed, hole in the tailgate, not a bad truck but not a truck you would think someone would steal," he told the outlet that he is not at all concerned about finding his car but it's the necklace that he wishes to track down. Sanabria lost his baby girl in May, a day after her first birthday. "We gave her a bath one night and laid her down. When we come back in to check on her, she was gone," recalled the heartbroken father during an interview with ABC affiliate WATE. After her untimely demise, Sanabria placed some of her ashes inside a pendant to keep her close to himself. But now with the car stolen, the locket and the ashes inside it are gone too. "Even that little pendant, that little piece, like I said it's like losing her all over again," he explained.
"Like she's already gone and they just took a little bit more. It sucks that those people exist," expressed Sanabris, adding, "It's crazy. It blows my mind." It's quite difficult to fathom the importance of the remains of one's child. Just take a mother named Alison Cope, for instance, who carries her late son Joshua Ribera's ashes everywhere she goes. Even though she had lost her son, who was just 18, she still goes out for dinner with him. "I go out for dinner with Josh. On the anniversary of his death, I want him by my side 24/7. He is lovingly going to be in my handbag. I take him with me when I am away from home for long periods," said the Birmingham resident according to Mirror.
The heartbroken mother also added that the pain of losing a child never really goes away and that people find a way to deal with the loss. "The pain of losing a child doesn't get easier, you just learn methods to cope, you will forever live with a broken heart," she shared. Here's one mother who cannot part with the ashes of her child, whereas, the remains of Sanabria's baby girl were forcefully taken from him. We cannot even imagine what the father must be going through during this time. Sanabria hopes that someone is aware of the car's location and that they would help him reunite with his daughter's ashes that are inside it. Anyone who spots the stolen vehicle or has information regarding its whereabouts is encouraged to contact the Gatlinburg Police at 865-436-5181.
Cover image source: YouTube Screenshot | WATE 6 On Your Side