UK & World News

  • 4 January 2013, 19:13

Pensioner's Ashes Stolen During Burglary

A man says he was "horrified" after discovering thieves had stolen his father's ashes during a burglary.

Charles Tye, who lives in America, was visiting his father's home in Melksham, Wiltshire, over the Christmas period to clear the house following the 89-year-old's death in 2011.

Mr Tye was keeping the ashes in two cardboard tubes in a hessian bag on the hearth next to the spot where his father, George, liked to sit.

But when he returned to the house in Sarum Avenue - where his father had lived for 20 years - he found it had been burgled and the ashes were gone together with three bottles of whisky intended as a gift for a neighbour.

His father was a civil servant at the Ministry of Defence following military service in the Royal Navy and the ashes were due to be scattered in two locations - at Paisley in Scotland, where the remains of his mother were laid to rest, and at sea, to honour Mr Tye's Navy career.

Mr Tye said: "I was horrified when I discovered that the bag with my father's ashes had been taken. I was extremely close to my father and it would mean a tremendous amount to me to get them back.

"My reaction was that I shouldn't have left the ashes where they were, but they were in my father's favourite spot where he sat in his chair.

"I would be enormously grateful if anyone who has seen the bag or the cardboard tubes could keep them safe and contact Wiltshire Police as soon as possible."

Police have carried out house-to-house inquiries and searched the surrounding area, but there is no sign of the bag or the cardboard tubes.

Officers are now appealing for help to find the ashes, which were taken some time between December 30 and Thursday.

The bag has two white handles at the top and a small red flower in the bottom corner. The cardboard tubes have metal stoppers.

Detective Constable Nicky Caffrey, of the priority crime team at Melksham, said: "It is possible that the burglars took the bag and the cardboard containers believing them to contain bottles of alcohol.

"Once they opened the containers they may have discarded them somewhere, not realising the significance of the contents."

Anyone who has any information is asked to call Wiltshire Police on 101.

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