ST. CLOUD, Minn. - What began as a joyous occasion became a morning-after downer for Jessie Johnson and his new bride, Amanda.
Johnson says his Dodge Ram pickup truck, a keepsake left to him by his late grandfather, was stolen in St. Cloud the night after his Saturday wedding.
St. Cloud police are investigating the theft, Johnson says, and he hopes the public will help them. He says the theft occurred between midnight and 8 a.m. on Sunday at the Hampton Inn & Suites, across Minnesota Highway 15 from Crossroads Center mall in St. Cloud.
Jessie and Amanda Johnson, of Elk River, were married Saturday in Sartell. That night, they left the truck parked in the lot of the Hampton Inn & Suites where they were staying, Jessie Johnson said. When they awoke, it was gone.
For Johnson, the truck was more than just a means of transportation. It had belonged to his late grandfather, Thomas Johnson, who died earlier this year from cancer.
Jessie describes Thomas as "a good person, but a wanderer" who traveled the country in his pickup truck. Thomas and Jessie were close, with the elder Johnson being almost like a father figure, according to Jessie's sister, Stephanie Kurowski, of Plymouth.
"My brother was just so honored that my grandpa wanted him to have that truck," Kurowski said.
The missing truck is a maroon 2001 Dodge Ram extended cab with a black toolbox behind the cab, "Magnum 5.9 liter" marking on both sides of the vehicle and a disabled parking sticker on the dashboard.
Johnson wishes the person or people responsible for the theft realized they weren't stealing just any pickup truck.
"If they would have known, I'm sure they wouldn't have taken it," he said.
Johnson said attendees at the wedding called Monday to congratulate him and Amanda. Many told him what a beautiful wedding it was.
"I had to tell them: 'Yeah, it was fun,' " Johnson said. "Until the morning."