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'I burst into tears': Stratford widow asks thief to return late husband's ashes after break-in

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A Stratford widow says she’s heartbroken after she says her late husband’s ashes were stolen after a break-in.

The break-in happened sometime between May 15 and May 22. Police said thieves got away with a large amount of silverware, dishes and jewelry.

Police said the ashes of the victim’s husband, her brother-in-law, as well as the ashes of two beloved pets, also went missing.

The homeowner, who is going by the name Elisabeth to protect her identity, said the entire situation has been traumatic.

“With the ashes gone, it was like – I burst into tears, and that was it was much more emotional. My son was a very angry and couldn't believe it. My daughter was also angry and upset because she was so attached to her father and she was the one who was with him right up until he died,” said Elisabeth.

She is hoping whoever took it does the right thing.

“The ashes can’t be meaningful to anybody but me and my family, so they're no good to anyone else, and I would just really appreciate having them back because it would allow us bury him where he wanted to be buried,” she said.

Joseph, Elisabeth’s late husband, passed away in 2020 and because the family is spread out across North America, they have been unable to bury him.

“Joe is the kind of person that everybody loved. He was very bright. He was very well liked. He was a professor and amateur actor,” said Elisabeth.

The other ashes belonged to her brother in-law Ralph.

“He was an oncologist in the United States, he was a fine person very good doctor, very well respected by everybody,” she said.

Elisabeth planned on bury Joseph and Ralph together.

Elizabeth said she is hopeful the ashes still can be returned but if they have been discarded or disposed of, she said she’d at least like the culprits to let them know.

“It would probably break my heart to think they're in the garbage but it would also break my heart to never know what happened to them,” she said. “At the very minimum, I would really appreciate knowing what happened to them, it would give me a feeling of having some closure on this whole situation.”

Stratford police said while they are hoping to identify the people responsible, their priority is getting the ashes back to the family.

Police said the ashes can be taken to W.B Young Funeral Home, located at 430 Huron Street in Stratford, or an anonymous tip can be left with Crime Stoppers and police can collect the ashes that way.

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