Family heartbroken after pickup truck stolen that belonged to son who died

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HENDERSON, Colo. -- A family thought nothing could hurt again as much as the death of their loved one 1 1/2 years ago. A thief proved them wrong.

Someone stole the pickup truck of a 31-year-old man killed in a car accident in 2014. It was one of the last physical reminders of a man the family loved.

Chris Acklam died in a head-on collision in Commerce City the morning of June 4, 2014. His family never imagined that would be the last day they would see him alive. And they took comfort in holding onto his possessions.  But now the biggest is gone.

"He had the biggest smile, biggest warming smile," said Tex Jenkins, Acklam’s cousin and best friend.

They miss Acklam's smile.

"Just a nice guy, would help anybody," said Acklam's father, Chris Acklam, 60.

His dad still keeps his son's clothes in his garage along with signs of his now dissolved welding business. He even took in his two dogs.

"Dubs and Steel are Christopher's dogs. Every time I feed them, it's a reminder of him," Acklam said.

But perhaps the biggest reminder is his son's truck.

"I just let it sit, then I decided finally to get it cranked up," he said.

He didn't have the heart to drive for nearly a year.

Acklam died on the way to help a friend with his alfalfa field on a rural foggy road at 120th Avenue and Piccadilly Road.

"It's like a second death. He's gone once. He's gone twice," he said.

But now it’s a thief bringing new pain to a family that had started to heal. They called FOX 31 Denver Problem Solvers after someone swiped the 2004 F-350 King Ranch pickup from outside Acklam’s rural home  on Sunday.

"It was right here by the trailer," Acklam said.

Now that spot is empty and his heart broken.

"Every time I got in it I thought of him. ... It was like he was in the passenger seat. But thanks to somebody, they took it away,” Acklam said.

"To come out and see it gone is just like some took that knife and opened that wound right back up," Jenkins said.

It's a wound that reminds them of all they lost.  The truck a symbol of their son and cousin.

"When you saw the truck you saw Christopher," Jenkins said.

They hope someone can help heal the hurt.  The truck's hood is unique with a hand-painted caliper on it.

"Have people look out for caliper on the hood and hopefully we can find it and bring it back home," Acklam said.

A caliper is a tool to measure steel. If you see a caliper image on a white Ford F-350 truck, call the Adams County Sheriff's Office and help ease a family's suffering.

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