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‘Put it back:’ Family seeks justice, says floral arrangement was taken from Waukesha cemetery

Data pix.

WAUKESHA -- This was the first Christmas holiday since Elizabeth Schaefer passed away. Her family knew it would be difficult, but seeing items missing from her gravesite was even more heartbreaking.

Elizabeth Schaefer

Schaefer was the family matriarch. After her death, her family picked Prairie Home Cemetery in Waukesha to be her final resting place.

"(She was) caring, loving, just always with everybody. Always about family, family first," says Ariana Sperbeck, Schaefer's granddaughter. "When you come here, you can just sit and enjoy your time."

Schaefer's husband came to the cemetery Christmas morning, only to find her artificial floral arrangements had gone missing. They were standing secure in vases just a few days earlier.

Kristine Schaefer (L) and Ariana Sperbeck (R)

"He looked around and saw everyone else's were still here. Didn't understand why his were taken," says Kristine Schaefer, Elizabeth's daughter.

Elizabeth Schaefer's daughter and granddaughter say a lot of thought went into making the intricate arrangements. Family members believe they were stolen.

"Seeing nothing here, it's hurtful that someone would do that to a family," Sperbeck says. "It's just the worst thing you can do to somebody."

A family left with questions and frustration -- holding on tight to each other, pained by another loss.

Family members are asking for the person who took the arrangement to return them or at least drop it off at a police station.

"Put it back where you found it, you know you're in the wrong," Sperbeck says.

The cemetery is looking into the situation and working with the family.

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