ROCKFORD, Ill. — A 23-year-old man has been charged in the theft of a funeral home vehicle that had a dead body inside of it at the time it was stolen.

Deon Howard, from Rockford, was charged with unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle and abuse of a corpse.

It was during a follow-up investigation that the Rockford Police Department identified the suspect involved in the theft as Howard.

The vehicle theft happened the afternoon of Saturday, Jan. 21, when Howard allegedly stole a van belonging to Collins & Stone Funeral Home with a deceased man, 47-year-old Curtis Brown, in the cargo area of the van.

According to police, the van was found — without Brown inside — in the 1400 block of East 87th Street the following day on Jan. 22. Around 24 hours after that, Rockford police were told that Brown’s body was found in the 8200 block of South Manistee Avenue in Chicago.

“They found my baby. He was dumped in an alley butt-naked. He had on no clothes,” Brown’s mother, Cindy Howard, told WGN News during a phone interview.

Howard has yet to be apprehended by police, but if you have any information regarding this incident or Howard’s whereabouts, Rockford PD urges you to reach out to them at (815) 966-2900, on Facebook or on Twitter.

Anonymous tips can also be submitted over text by texting the word ‘RPDTIP’ to 847411 followed by a tip.