Tragic day leads to unexpected shock when murder victim’s family gets rental car bill

KANSAS CITY, Kan -- "She was my princess," said Mary Everhart as she held a photo of her 18-year-old granddaughter Monica Chivara.

Chivara was murdered last July at a motel in Kansas City, Kansas. It was a tragic day - and one with unexpected consequences months later.

In February, Everhart received a phone call from Enterprise Rental Car saying she owed $3,300 for the storage and towing of the car her granddaughter had been driving the day of the murder.

"I lost my granddaughter," Everhart said. "They are not being compassionate and I just feel I'm being harassed by them."

Everhart, however, admitted she violated her contract with Enterprise by loaning her granddaughter the car she had rented for herself. But Everhart doesn't understand why she should be responsible for storage fees that stacked up after the car was impounded by police as part of a murder investigation.

Neither does FOX 4 Problem Solvers. When a car becomes part of a criminal investigation -- car owners are usually exempted from storage fees.

So Problem Solvers called All City Tow. That's the KCK tow lot that was storing the car for police. We pointed out to All City that even the release form from police recommended the tow bill be for no more than four days of storage -- not three months. All City told us that the four-day storage rate only applied to privately owned vehicles. All City said it's allowed to charge a company-owned car (or rental car) its full rate.

All City wouldn't budge even after we pointed out that Ms. Everhart was being held responsible for the bill. We then tried our luck with Enterprise. After we explained Ms. Everhart's sad tale to the rental car company, it agreed to waive the $3,300 charge because of the "unusually tragic circumstances."

Thanks to Enterprise this problem is now solved.

Update:

After our story aired, Ryan Richardson, the owner of All City Tow, said had he realized that Enterprise Rental Car was charging Ms. Everhart the $3,300 storage and tow fee he would have waived the fee. He said he doesn't believe crime victims should ever be held responsible for such fees.