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Stolen Minivan Found, Family Dog Dead inside

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There's a sad ending to the story of a family whose minivan was stolen on Saturday while the family dog was in the back: the minivan and dog were found, but the family pet did not survive.

Nayo Mateo had gone into a store in Studio City for "just a minute" to get his wife and daughter. He left the engine running in his minivan so he could keep the air on for the sleeping golden Labrador retriver Maru. When he walked outside, the minivan and the 10-year-old Maru were nowhere to be found.

The minivan was discovered around 5 p.m. on Monday near where it had been taken, police told City News Service. The body of the dog was found inside, and police speculate that it died in the heat since the windows had been rolled up.

Mateo said the family had raised Maru since he was a pup.

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Police are trying to locate the suspect who took the minivan. Lt. Todd Hankel told CNS, "We're holding the vehicle for prints. We'll try to ID the suspect that way if we can find any."

Related:
Minivan Stolen In Studio City With Family Dog Inside