Woman pleads for return of stolen trailer after losing everything in a fire

Apr 25, 2022, 6:09 PM | Updated: Jun 10, 2022, 11:49 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A California couple is pleading for the return of their trailer stolen in Salt Lake City over the weekend, saying it held all their belongings and more after a fire destroyed their home last year.

Starting over is never easy, and now, Dawn Miller and her husband are facing the prospect of having to start over twice in the last year.

“To get over the fire was hard enough,” Miller said, referring to the Caldor Fire that destroyed their home in Grizzly Flats in August 2021.

The fire destroyed most of the town, and for the last few months, the Millers have been with family in Indiana. There they managed to acquire old pictures of their family. They also purchased several things to replace what was destroyed, including some sentimental items to help them cope with their loss.

“It was our beginning. I finally started smiling since this fire,” she said.

They also received several donations of antiques — 28 boxes of them — that they planned to auction off when they returned home to Grizzly Flats to help their neighbors rebuild.

“Because they mean so much to us, and that’s why we’re going back,” she said.

Last week, they loaded all that they own into a U-Haul trailer, bought a truck and started their journey across the country to California. On Friday, they stopped at the Ramada Hotel near the Salt Lake City International Airport.

Miller says she remembers seeing the trailer at 1:30 Saturday morning. But when she woke up later in the morning, it was gone from the parking lot. Unplugged, the chains removed and the lock cut.

“This was it. This was our beginning. And they took it,” Miller said. “They have no idea what they’ve just done. They took away from not just us, my whole town.”

Among the sentimental items was a stained glass picture she bought, showing bears in the mountains.

“To me, these bears and that lake and those trees, that’s what represents what it used to be,” she said, speaking of Grizzly Flats. “I bought that to put in my home in the front for hope. This was my hope.”

Miller extended her stay through Monday, hoping Salt Lake City police detectives would be able to find the trailer. She said she doesn’t know who took it, but “if they have compassion in their heart,” they’ll return it.

“So, we’re praying something can be found, anything, because we lost everything in the Caldor Fire. Everything. If we can just get a piece of it back. Generations of things are gone again.”

Miller said the U-Haul trailer was closed, 4 x 8 feet with Washington plates on it.

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Woman pleads for return of stolen trailer after losing everything in a fire