Marion County, Fla. (CBS TAMPA) – One of three men has been sentenced to more than eight years in prison for a series of 2010 robberies in which they allegedly stole cremation urns from a house, and then snorted the ashes of a man and two dogs.
Authorities believe Jose David Diaz-Marrero, 20, was involved in the burglaries in the Silver Spring Shores between December 2010 and January 2011. His accomplices — Matrix Andaluz, 19, Waldo Soroa, 21, and Jose David Diaz Marrero, 20 – are still awaiting sentencing.
Authorities began investigating the burglary involving the stolen ashes on Dec. 15, 2010. According to the police report, a woman in Silver Springs Shores, about 70 miles northwest of Orlando, returned home to discover that her house had been broken into and that several items were missing, including electronics and jewelry.
The thieves also stole the ashes of the woman’s father and of two Great Danes, police told AOL news.
According to Ocala.com, the detectives investigating the case said the accused men told them they thought the urns contained crushed pills and decided to taste and snort the contents. After the men saw a story published in the Star-Banner, they realized what they had allegedly snorted were the remains of a woman’s father and her two dogs.
Diaz-Marrero pleaded guilty in June to four burglaries.
“We got information from a lady who had knowledge of the burglary,” Marion County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Jenifer Lowe told AOL News. “Once she found out they were someone’s remains, she felt compelled to come forward and tell us about it. We identified several suspects, and once we tracked them down, they gave a full confession to that burglary and several others.”
Lowe stated that detectives believed the ashes had been taken because the suspects mistook them for either cocaine or heroin.
In court this past Friday, wearing a white collared shirt and a silver tie, he said was remorseful for his actions as he spoke before Circuit Judge Sandra Edwards-Stephens, Ocala.com reported.
“I recognize that I’ve made a big mistake,” he said.
According to Ocala.com, the remains of Tencza’s father and those of one of the dogs were found in a lake shortly after her home was burglarized, and were returned to her. Detectives went to another home in the Silver Springs Shores area to look for the second dog’s remains. There they met with the homeowner who told them that she had unwittingly thrown out the ashes thinking it was a plastic bag of concrete mix.