GARDEN CITY, N.Y. — As if losing a child isn’t hard enough, a Long Island mother said her baby’s ashes were stolen from her home, and begged for their return.
“No matter what I do, he’s not gonna come back, but that piece of him that was with me is gone again,” Monique Hartley-Brown said.
Ten years ago, Hartley-Brown gave birth to a still-born baby boy. His ashes were kept in a small heart-shaped urn that was snatched away from her by a pair of burglars.
“This is the one thing that means the most to me,” said Hartley-Brown. “It’s like losing him again.”
Surveillance video showed two men breaking into her home. Hartley-Brown said it happened while she was on vacation in August with her husband and children.
They determined thieves tried using a crow bar on the back door. When that failed, they were seen prying open a window to get inside, snooping around in the dark, and grabbing what they could — including jewelry and electronics.
“I was just in awe and in disbelief,” Hartley-Brown. It’s mostly whys in my head.”
When Hartley-Brown took a closer look at what was taken, she realized the urn was missing from the closet shelf in her bedroom.
“Why would they take that?” said Hartley-Brown. “Maybe they thought it was jewelry or something like that. It’s not right having to go through the process again, having to grieve him again.”
The heartbroken mother begged those mystery burglars to return what’s left of her son because, while she said roughly $10,000 worth of items were stolen, there is no doubt her most prized possession was a tiny urn taken from a closet.