BATAVIA, Ohio - Police are searching for a suspect or multiple suspects who allegedly stole a deceased man’s ashes from his wife’s home, among other valuables.
The couple had been married over 40 years according to the victim's son-in-law.
"Every morning, (she) got up and saw her husband," son-in-law Russ Thomas said. "He wasn't alive, but he was there. It's like losing him all over again."
Meanwhile, friends of the family are scouring the roads near the victim's home in case the box containing the ashes may have been discarded.
"Just trying to see what we can find," said searcher Jim Bowling.
The Clermont County Sheriff’s Office responded to a burglary at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 15 outside of Batavia, Ohio.
The victim, a 71-year-old female, left her residence at approximately 10:30 a.m. and returned at 3:30 p.m. to find her front door kicked in.
"They may have just put their shoulder to it," Thomas said.
The unknown suspect or suspects entered the residence and stole property.
Among the stolen property were the ashes of the victim’s deceased husband.
The victim said that the ashes of her deceased husband were in a decorated wooden box that sat on a dresser in her bedroom.
Police said it is possible that the suspect or suspects mistakenly assumed that the box contained items of monetary value, not the ashes of the deceased man.
Clermont County Sgt. Chris Stratton says he suspects the thief or thieves were drug addicts looking for some quick money.
"(The ashes) are worthless to anyone else but us," Thomas said. "We're willing to give a $5,000 reward for the return of them, no questions asked."
Anyone with information on this offense is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 352-3040 or Sgt. Stratton with the Clermont County Sheriff's Office at 513-732-7648.
All calls are anonymous.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.