Julie Nicole Mott was a Texan woman who died at just 25 years old due to complications from cystic fibrosis, a disease she had been diagnosed with at 2. Her health struggles did not stop her from living a fulfilling life. A lifelong horse rider, she competed in horse shows and show jumping.

After Julie died on August 8, 2015, her father Tim Mott signed a burial contract with Mission Park Funeral Chapels & Cemeteries in San Antonio. He paid $7,500 for a memorial service, embalming, and cremation.

The memorial service took place at noon on August 15, on what would have been Julie’s 26th birthday. By 1:30 PM, mourners had left the chapel. Bill Wilburn, a man Julie had broken up with two years before, stayed an extra fifteen minutes. An employee asked him to leave and locked the door.

Julie’s casket was then moved to a private visitation area in the back of the funeral home to await transfer to a different Mission Park location where she would be cremated. At 4:30 PM, employees locked the building and activated the security alarm.

In the morning, an employee noticed the bier on which Julie’s casket rested was in an “unnatural” position by the exit door, and one of its hinges was damaged. To their shock, the casket was empty.

There were no signs of a forced entry, and the alarm was not triggered. Authorities believe Julie’s body was stolen sometime during the three hours between the memorial and the funeral home closing. Despite searches being conducted, Julie’s body is still missing eight years later.

Bill quickly became obsessed with the case and is a person of interest. He called Mission Park over 200 times in one day and called the Mott family dozens of times during the night for weeks. Bill was banned from entering the funeral home, and after disobeying this order twice in June 2016, he was arrested and sentenced to two days in jail.

In January 2016, the Mott family filed a lawsuit against Mission Park for gross negligence. The trial brought to light the funeral home’s shady business practices.

The owner, Robert “Dick” Tips, denied using subcontractors, but it was discovered that most of the transportation and embalming was performed by a third-party service, Beyer & Beitel. The company’s employees had “unfettered” access to Mission Park, including having keys and knowing the alarm codes (which had been the same for twenty years).

Furthermore, Beyer & Beitel had been sued just months before Julie’s body went missing for mixing up the bodies of two elderly women (one of whom had already been buried). Mission Park has also been sued at least twelve times since 2000. One lawsuit was a result of them also mixing up bodies.

Mission Park’s owner knew the Mott family before Julie’s de*ath. Robert had hired her father as his private aircraft pilot and rented them a home. He offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible. Robert has accused Julie’s ex-boyfriend of being the culprit and stated,

“Really, the end goal is to have her body back. There’s no question the body was stolen, and one day you’ll see the truth and we’ll all understand the truth.”

Mission Park was found to be negligent and the Mott family was awarded $8 million in damages. Their attorney, Mark Greenwald, said of the verdict,

“The Motts are happy that they got a jury verdict, but in the end we failed, as we did not find Julie, and that is all that really matters.”

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