Military family in limbo after moving truck goes missing

- The rooms are still bare in the Garza family's new house, in spite of packing everything onto a moving truck days before in Pasco County. Once they arrived to start their new life in Alabama, the military family's moving truck - along with their belongings and the truck's driver - were nowhere to be found. 

“The last place we saw our goods was there,” said Deanna Garza.

The Garza family has relocated with the U.S. Coast Guard several times, from Maine, to North Carolina, to Alaska, to Florida, and now Alabama.

This latest move turned into a nightmare for them.

The family said the driver for Florida Van Lines never showed up with their stuff.

“He called me at 6:30 in the morning, asking when we wanted the delivery that day, or the scheduled date of July 5. So I told him, 'let’s stick to the plan of July 5,' and he said, 'thanks for not making me work on a holiday,'”  Deanna Garza recounted. “And that's the last anybody heard of him.”

The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office confirmed it issued a BOLO, or “Be on the Lookout,” for the truck. The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department said Florida Van Lines reported the truck stolen and the case was handed over to the State Attorney’s Office.

The Pensky rental office where Florida Van Lines got the truck said it was a 26-footer and, so far, there has been no sign of it - or the Garza’s belongings.

Deanna’s young son, Aiden talked about the meaningful mementos he lost in the move.

“A lot of my football stuff, like my jerseys, over eight seasons, and my trophies,” Aiden explained

His little brother, David added, “what was really important to me was my drone I got for Christmas.”

Their father, U.S. Coast Guard First Class Petty Officer John Garza said this made them realize how much is irreplaceable, and said the lesson is to carry those items with you.

“Some things just don't have monetary value. We realized we had in there, some baby blankets, all the awards over my career are gone, all my military coins, those are gone,” Garza said.

The operations manager at Florida Van Lines, Jaime Prescott did not follow up on FOX 13 News' requests to go on camera, but said over the phone, the company feels sorry for the Garzas and there is an open investigation. He said the driver was an employee of theirs for a number of years and was not a last-minute fill in.

Meanwhile, the Garza’s are waiting for the moving company’s insurance payout so they can buy furniture. They are living in a motel while their new home sits like their old one - empty.

Up Next:


Up Next

  • Military family in limbo after moving truck goes missing
  • Mother, 2 children hit while crosing Dale Mabry Hwy.
  • Lakeland bakery working overtime to fulfill cruffin cravings
  • Metro Ministries makes Thanksgiving special for families
  • Retailers, shoppers getting ready for Black Friday
  • Even a hurricane can't sink this Thanksgiving tradition
  • LaFountain making best of second chance at life
  • So-called Black-out Wednesday one of year's busiest for bars
  • Shadow of killer looms over Thanksgiving in Seminole Heights
  • Missing child alert issued for Neptune Beach teen