Human Ashes Stolen From Lafayette Mausoleum

LAFAYETTE (CBS 5 / BCN) — Thieves broke into a mausoleum in a Lafayette cemetery on Sunday and stole an urn containing human remains, Contra Costa County sheriff’s spokesman Jimmy Lee said.

The sheriff’s office received a call from Oakmont Memorial Park at 2099 Reliez Valley Road at 8:30 a.m. Monday reporting that someone had forced open a private mausoleum and stolen an urn containing the remains of Thomas Gonzales II.

According to Gonzales’ family, Gonzales was the founder of Commerce One, a business-to-business e-commerce company that flourished during the dot-com boom.

Gonzales died on Dec. 5, 2001, at the age of 35 after battling gastric cancer for eight months, according to his family.

After his death, Gonzales’ family built a mausoleum in his memory and placed his ashes in an urn inside.

Family members said the urn was made of bronze and has no real market value, but believe that whoever stole it might have thought it was gold.

The family is offering a $10,000 reward for any information that leads to the successful return of the urn and of Gonzales’ remains, according to a statement released by the family.


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