A 41-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of theft from a deceased person after surveillance footage appeared to show her taking a ring from a grandmother's open casket.
Surveillance video captured Kalynn Homfeld prying the wedding ring off the hand of Lois Hicks as she lay in repose at Sunset Memorial Garden funeral home on Friday, police said.
She was arrested on Tuesday after Hicks' family reported the theft to police in Odessa, Texas, and also shared the video on Facebook.
Cpl. Steve LeSueur of the Odessa Police Department told BuzzFeed News on Monday that officers followed a number of leads after the video was shared online.
"We appreciate all the support from the public we've received on this case," he said.
The crime, a state jail felony, is an unusual one, LeSueur added. He cannot remember police ever encountering a theft from a body at a funeral home.
The fact that it was a symbol of Hicks' marriage mades the theft particularly difficult, her family told the Odessa American.
Hicks was 88 at the time of her death, and her husband of 55 years, Gayle Hicks, died three years ago.
"It makes me sick to my stomach,” her daughter, Vel McKee, told the American. “Horrible. I hope they catch her.”
Police later told USA Today the ring was made of plastic and worth about $10. The crime remained the same whether the ring was made of real or fake diamonds, police added.
Two other rings were found in Homfeld's home, and police were working to identify their potential owners.
Claudia Koerner is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Claudia Koerner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.