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Ashes of Batavia man returned to widow after January home burglary

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BATAVIA, Ohio - A man's remains are at rest again after police recovered his ashes stolen during a home burglary in January.

Clermont County Sheriff's Office officials confirmed on Wednesday a box containing the remains of a Batavia man were returned to his wife.

"I am pleased to report that the cremated remains of a deceased gentleman that were taken during a residential Burglary offense on Jan. 15 have been recovered and returned to his widow,"Clermont County Sheriff Tim Rodenberg said in a press release.

The sheriff's office, who responded to the original theft report, said it was possible that a suspect or suspects mistakenly assumed that the box contained items of monetary value, not the ashes of the deceased man.

Investigators recovered the remains from Northern Kentucky following information and leads developed in cooperation with other jurisdictions. The sheriff's office has made no arrests in terms of the burglary.

The box with the ashes was kept on the dresser of the man's 71-year-old widow. 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."

Clermont County Sgt. Chris Stratton said he suspected the thief or thieves were drug addicts looking for some quick money.

"(The ashes) are worthless to anyone else but us," Thomas said when the ashes were originally taken.

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