NYPD tow truck removes funeral van - with body

Van carrying dead body is towed by NYPD outside Redden's Funeral.

March 12, 2010 3:17:10 PM PST
To the cops who towed the mini-van, it was just another illegally parked vehicle. It turned out to be much more.

Paul DeNigris came out of Redden's Funeral Home on 14th Street in Brooklyn on Thursday to find the hearse gone.

He said it wasn't a normal hearse. It was a mini-van.

Police apparently didn't know it was a hearse, and didn't know a body was inside.

"I'm not giving any details about the person inside. There was somebody in the back. That's as far as I will say," DeNigris said.

Police waived the $185 tow fee, but the $150 parking ticket sticks because police say the van was there for almost three hours.

"The funeral director should ask himself why he left an unattended body in an unmarked van with darkened windows, parked illegally for nearly three hours before it was towed. What if the van had been stolen instead of towed? Shouldn't he or someone from the funeral home staff have stayed with the body?" said NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne in a statement.

DeNigris said the vehicle was parked there for only 15 or 20 minutes. A windshield placard had fallen flat, he said. The van's tinted windows helped obscure the white cardboard box that held the remains.