MARYSVILLE, Wash. — Thanksgiving in a hotel is not what the Chandler family was expecting for their first holiday in Marysville.
"I would have liked to make us a nice family dinner,” said Sara Jane Chandler, sitting in a hotel room with her husband Gregory and their young children. “But now we will probably just eat fast food or something.”
It had been a tough few days for the Chandler family who arrived in Marysville Monday after a seven-day drive from Mississippi. The Chandler family relocated to Marysville for Gregory’s job in the Navy but expected to be in an apartment, not a hotel.
“It would be nice to have my kitchen, and highchairs, and a table,” said Chandler.
But on Monday, their first night in their new city, that was all taken.
“That night, around one in the morning, the U-Haul was stolen,” said Chandler. “The officer said he did it in under ten minutes.”
They were planning to unload the U-Haul at their new apartment the next day.
Chandler said police were able to find surveillance video of the U-Haul being stolen, despite it being locked and parked close to the hotel. The U-Haul ended up being recovered the next day thanks to a tip from someone on Facebook. They found the U-Haul abandoned on the road about 20 minutes from the hotel.
“What wasn't stolen is pretty much destroyed, we're just figuring it out one day at a time,” said Chandler.
But there was one box, the Chandlers prayed they would find.
“It was a box I have of their newborn memories,” said Chandler.
Despite all their major electronics and many other items being stolen and numerous pieces of furniture and items being damaged, the box was mercifully untouched.
“I pulled back a mattress and sure enough, the box was like sitting right on the very top,” said Chandler. “I opened it up and there was the little ducky pajamas in the bag with the newborn hats and bracelets and I just broke down.”
Due to the holiday, the U-Haul is now at an impoundment lot until Monday. On Monday they will go through the U-Haul further and try to buy new household items to move into their new apartment. They said despite this setback, they are excited to start their new chapter of life together in Marysville.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help the Chandler family.