"While her life was cut inconceivably short and without warrant, she will live on," Bella's owner wrote on Facebook

By Helen Murphy
January 08, 2020 01:17 PM

A beloved dog named Bella, who went missing in South Carolina when her owner’s truck was stolen, has been found dead.

Ben Brengle, Bella’s owner, found her body on Sunday by the side of a highway, The Charleston Post and Courier reported. According to the outlet, Bella had been missing since Dec. 22, when Brengle’s truck was stolen with the dog inside.

In the two weeks since the theft, Brengle never gave up the search for Bella, even starting a Facebook page in hopes of locating her.

In a statement on the Change for Bella Facebook page on Sunday, Brengle wrote: “The outreach of love, support, and overall encouragement that we received during this unnecessary tragedy was beyond measure. It not only gave us the motivation we needed to ultimately #findbella, it gave us hope. Hope for a stronger community. Hope for more streamlined, accessible resources. Hope for a better response. Hope for a louder voice. HOPE FOR CHANGE.”

A beach memorial for Bella was held on Tuesday evening at sunset, according to the Facebook page.

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According to The Associated Press, Bella and Brengle’s truck were stolen after he left the truck idling in the parking lot during quick trip to a home improvement store in Charleston. Brengle said he was only gone for three minutes, the outlet reported.

The AP also reports that Richard Rawlings Jr. was arrested last week and charged with possessing Brengle’s stolen truck. According to the outlet, Rawlings Jr. told authorities that Bella jumped out of the truck’s rear window, which had been broken, after the theft.

The North Charleston Police Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

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“Bella did not leave us in vain,” Brengle added on the Facebook page Sunday. “While her life was cut inconceivably short and without warrant, she will live on. In our heart, in our memories, and in our legislative system. I can assure you, there will be #norest.”