Ashes stolen from Vero Beach home: Daughter begs for her mother's ashes to be returned

VERO BEACH, Fla. - Debbie Harris's Vero Beach home used to be her sanctuary.

"This place means a lot to me," she said. "I found this cute little house, and made it my own."

But she's been on edge since she was robbed two months ago. Yesterday, her worst fears came true when she got back from work, and saw her back patio door was left wide open. 

"I knew immediately something was wrong," said Harris.

Her bedroom drawers had been turned inside out, but only one thing was missing from her guest bedroom: her mother's remains, kept in an engraved wooden box.

"Twice now in two months is more than I can handle, but taking mom's remains is the ultimate," she said.

Harris said she has her suspicions about these burglars' intentions. She said after her first robbery, she made a formal statement at the District Attorney's office against four men accused of a string of pillowcase burglaries.

"Things that they could have taken in the house that they ignored," she said. "It was almost like they were here purposely for that reason."

Harris admits detectives told her they can't conclusively connect her two robberies, and to prevent any more from occurring, she will install a home burglary alarm first thing in the morning. 

In the meantime, she is left without the comfort of her mother's dying wish, that her daughter keep her remains close.

"I wish there was something I could do to turn back the clock," she said. "I just want to have her back."



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