Stolen U-Haul found emptied, torched near Benton City; cat still missing
BENTON CITY, Wash. — A vehicle fire led deputies to the U-Haul at the intersection of Webber Canyon Road and Henson Road outside Benton City.
Benton County Sheriff's Office and Kennewick Police said that's where they found the stolen Toyota Tacoma and what was left of their moving truck.
Only two weeks ago it was filled with everything they own, including their beloved cat, Clyde.
Officials said the truck was unloaded before it was burned, and many of the owner's possessions were found nearby.
Victim Lacy B. said she and husband Chris are glad they won't have to start from scratch, but the update is more bitter than sweet.
"It's just hard," Lacy explained. "We've lost our cat, we had to leave our chickens back in Tucson, and I'm five months pregnant."
Deputies said they found several stolen vehicles, including Harley Davidson motorcycles and a Ford F-150 pick-up truck.
"It's good news because we did find our things, however the condition they're in doesn't look great," Lacy said.
"They were sending me pictures all day, but not only our [stuff], a lot from other people as well. Everything has been torn apart and scattered among other people's possessions."
Unfortunately, their 10-year-old Russian Blue cat, Clyde was nowhere to be found.
Lacy said was sleeping in the cab of the truck on the night it was stolen because the hotel didn't allow pets.
But the young family isn't giving up; Lacy said they're still hopeful,
"That he's out and about, in the area just hiding or surviving."
Kennewick Police detective Dan Todd said anything is possible.
"This occurred in a relatively rural area of the county," Todd said. "If the cat was released, it could still be in the area."
In the meantime, the Lacy and Chris are trying to figure out how to get everything to their new home.
"It was all their belongings," said the detective. "It was their household, it was furniture, it was everything. And there was quite a bit recovered."
Lacy told Action News she's staying in Arizona with family, and Chris will head back to the Tri-Cities on Saturday to gather what he can.
"I mean we're talking about piles and piles of things that are mixed with other people's things," Lacy sighed.
She said she wishes she knew someone in the Tri-Cities who could help her husband because she feels overwhelmed.
"We had a 20-foot U-Haul, so its a lot of stuff and finding a moving truck and labor to help him has been very difficult."
She's worried they wont be able to salvage whatever was found, but more than her things, she said she's worried about their dear friend.
Lacy said before she left Washington they came back to the area because a Tri-Cities animal shelter thought they'd found Clyde.
"We were there when they opened their doors, but by 9:04 we knew it wasn't him," she said. "It's hard when something like that happens because you get hopeful, and then it wasn't him."
Detective Todd said KPD's goal is to make things easier for the family.
He said they'll help they'll help them get their property back, adding he hopes they'll also reunite with Clyde.
"It's very unfortunate," he said. "They're moving from out of state and unfortunately they don't have a real good outlook of the Tri-Cities because of this experience."
Lacy said she's grateful for help from family and the Tri-Cities community, and encourages folks to take a second to double-check if they cross paths with a fluffy grey cat with a kink in his tail.
"The tail is going to be super important, and if people could at least try to see the tail, it would really help," she said. "My worry is that people aren't looking anymore."
- Clyde is described as a 10-year old Russian Blue cat with a bend in his tail about two inches from the tip where cartilage is missing.
- His owner said he's microchopped, and was last seen near wearing a black collar.
- He was last seen in the parking lot of the Baymont Inn at 4220 West 27th Place in Kennewick.
- The U-Haul was found near Benton City, at the intersection of Webber-Canyon and Henson Rd.
Contact Action News if you'd like to help and we'll connect you with the family
- Email: TopherP@keprtv.com
- Call/Text: 509-521-4838