Sampson the dog was already having a tough day. His owner, 59-year-old Robert Corbey, had suffered a seizure and fell while taking him on a walk. But then, as emergency responders treated the man in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven, a woman arrived and took him away.

Police in Longmont, Colo., say that Sampson was taken as his master lay dying. In a Facebook post, police said surveillance video captured the incident, which showed the woman pulling the dog away from the scene on Tuesday evening.

On Thursday, police announced their suspect: 30-year-old Melody Mellon, who had several outstanding warrants.

For a long time, nobody knew where Sampson had gone, and his disappearance added more grief to an already tragic day. Corbey died after being transported to a hospital, the Longmont Times-Call reported, and his family “not only lost a treasured family member, but are also missing his companion,” Longmont police wrote on Wednesday.

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As his owner died, Sampson was nowhere to be found. Police asked the public to help find him.

On Wednesday afternoon, Longmont Deputy Jeffrey M. Satur spotted a couple walking with a very familiar-looking dog.

“I was like, ‘Oh, there he is!’ I recognized him right away,” Satur told CBS4.

A woman had handed Sampson to the couple, according to Satur. They’d given him a bath and some crackers.

“They knew the dog was missing,” Satur said. “They were like, ‘Here, take the dog.' ”

Satur told the Washington Post that police identified Mellon as a suspect based on a photo and statements made as she was arrested for allegedly stealing a car in the early hours of Thursday morning.

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Just after 4 a.m., a Longmont police officer responded to a call over a missing vehicle, according to a police report. Mellon was later discovered passed out in the vehicle, and became combative when police arrested her. She was taken to a local hospital for medical clearance, and was cleared for incarceration.

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Mellon was arrested on several outstanding warrants, including assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest and auto theft, and was taken to the Boulder County Jail, according to Satur. She has been summoned to appear in court in November for a charge related to stealing Sampson.

On Wednesday, Sampson received a warm homecoming from a large group of family members, which included “kisses all around,” Longmont police said on Facebook. But one person in Sampson’s life was notably missing: Corbey, for whom he had served as a certified therapy dog.

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But for the family, having Sampson was comforting.

Kelly Pleffner, Corbey’s niece, told CBS4, “It feels like we have a piece of my uncle, having Sampson back.”

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