CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - A woman’s truck that was stolen days before Christmas has been found, but it’s a shell of what it used to be— a heartbreaking discovery for the owner, who says it’s all she had left from her father since he passed away.
When the truck was found, all of the Christmas gifts April Rhodes had left inside of it for her kids were gone, and the truck had been ravaged for parts.
"I feel violated. I did not feel safe,” Rhodes told FOX 46.
We spoke with her just a few days before Christmas right after the truck—which her father left to her after he died in May-- was stolen out of her driveway.
"When they called they told me that it was not in good condition. I was hoping it was just a couple of dings, something that I could fix,” Rhodes said.
But that wasn't the case.
"It was like I relived my dad's death all over again."
The pearl colored 2011 Chevy Avalanche holding her dad's necklace, shoes and the comfort of his memory was found in the back of a tow yard “gutted,” Rhodes said.
"They took the transmission, they took the engine, they took the seats out, they changed the tire - it had a flat tire. Pretty much it was nothing left but the shell."
Police told Rhodes the thieves also used the truck to steal packages and left some of the evidence inside.
"It was multiple addresses…in the car, and it was like some baby things in there, there was cards, there was books. Things they did not want they left in the truck."
Worried about her family's safety, Rhodes installed cameras around her house so she can keep an eye on who comes near her home. She says she wants justice for herself and her dad.
"Even though it was inheritance given to me, my dad worked hard to get that as well and you took that and treated it like it was nothing just for your benefit."