Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Man Accused Of Stealing Hearse With A Body In It Before A Funeral

Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

A man who may suffer from mental illness is accused of stealing a hearse—with the body inside—right before the funeral this weekend.

Family members were attending a funeral for 19-year-old Jonte Lee Reed on Saturday morning at Ebenezer Baptist Church at 4901 Avalon Blvd. in South Park, the L.A. Times reports. At about 11 a.m., the funeral director left the hearse idling outside while he went inside to arrange flowers. During this short window, a man got into the hearse and drove off with the casket still in the back.

Reed's family was alerted to the theft, and members were able to follow the hearse when they spotted it passing them a few blocks away from the church. They were able to convince the man to pull over. Words were exchanged, but no one was hurt. The man was arrested and will be charged with auto theft, though authorities will evaluate his mental state as well.

Reed was shot and killed on December 9 in South Park, according to the L.A. Times. His killer has not been caught.