The Hempel family has a name for their vacation property in rural northeastern Washington: "Hempel Hideaway." But thanks to thieves, that name has now taken on a new, unfortunate meaning. When Chris Hempel arrived at the 20-acre property in Springdale on Tuesday, she found something odd. "We drove up to the cabin, and the cabin was gone," she tells the Spokesman-Review. "It was just an empty hole where it used to sit." The cabin measures 10 feet by 20 feet and would have been difficult to take apart in pieces, so it's assumed the culprits removed the entire thing from its foundation and loaded it onto a trailer.
"Total shock," Hempel tells KHQ-TV. "Total dumbfounded shock." While the Stevens County Sheriff's Office investigates the crime, the Hempels may have an additional ally in social media—a Facebook post titled "To Catch a Thief: Spokane" has been shared more than 180 times, and the family hopes the attention might shed some light on the case. Neighbors didn't hear or see anything, leading the Hempels to believe that the theft occurred at night—and that the thieves knew what they were doing. (This isn't the first time a cabin has gone missing.)