PLACER COUNTY, Calif. — On March 29, dedicated husband and father of two Jason Cassem was killed in a tragic accident at his rural Placer County home.
The man entrusted with transporting Cassem's body to the coroner's office has been charged with the theft of his wedding ring.
"It's just a ring, right? But it's not to me," said Cassem's bereaved wife, who didn't want to be identified. She has sought an order of protection against the suspect, 55-year-old Milton Burl Boykins.
Boykins was working for A&R Mortuary Services, a Modesto-based company contracted by Placer County.
Detectives say they found evidence that Boykins stole the ring from Jason's finger and sold it at a Sacramento pawn shop. Boykins has been charged with theft and was released from the Placer County jail on bail.
Cassem's widow said she was shocked to learn that the county contracted the transport of her husband to a private company, and worries she is not the first victim in this situation.
"I didn’t knowingly entrust this person with my husband’s care. I didn’t know any differently," she said.
Seven weeks after Cassem died, detectives with the Placer County Sheriff's Office recovered his ring and returned it to his family.
As they grieve, the family is still fighting to make sure the driver is convicted, so something like this doesn't happen to anyone else.
"I will fight every day, and every minute until I get justice for him," said Cassem.