ELK GROVE, CA — A man, who was on his way to visit his priest, decided to have his car washed along the way, but what was supposed to be a quick trip instead turned into a heartbreaking affair, USA Today reported.

The Dec. 13 story said the man, 80-year-old Melvin Hayes, was transporting his wife's ashes to his priest so that they could be blessed.  While at the carwash, a woman asked him for some change so she could buy a soda. "And I said I don't have any single bills, but I got a pocket full of change," Hayes explained. "And I gave her enough money to buy the soda pop."

Hayes said he believes she was talking to him so that others would assume they were together. The woman somehow managed to get his claim ticket while the car was on the conveyor.

General Manager Victor Vosburgh of Premier Car Wash said in the story, "She ended up with his ticket and went out front, and my inspector asked for the ticket, got a ticket that was the car, the license number, and he released the keys to her."

As for Hayes, he said he doesn't care about the car, but wants to catch the thief. "Nothing else matters. I just want to get my wife's ashes back," he said in the story.