A Melbourne mother came home with her two sons on Boxing Day to find that the house had been completely raided, with the most priceless possession of all — an urn with her baby's ashes — gone.
After opening presents on Christmas Day, Ashleigh Newman and her children went to her parents house for celebrations, and sometime between that morning and the next morning when they came back, the house was broken into.
The Melbourne local living in the suburb of Frankston was robbed of valuable items like an iPad, phones, laptop and medications, costing her thousands of dollars. However the loss of the most sentimental item – a small blue urn with her baby's ashes – is what shocked her the most.
"It’s just awful. It’s a horrible feeling. I can’t imagine in any realm, why anyone would do this to anyone,” Ms Newman told 7News.
“I always planned on doing something special with them, I just didn’t know what to do. Now to feel like I don’t have that opportunity is not a nice feeling.”
Heartbroken mother thankful for GoFundMe donations
A GoFundMe has since been set up by Ms Newman's sister, which has so far raised more than $7000 – exceeding the $5000 goal.
"My sister is a single mum who is doing her best, and regretfully didn’t have contents insurance. I am making this page in the hopes that anyone could help out in any way they can," Karli Newman wrote on the fundraising page.
"All of the kids presents that were opened in the morning were left in the lounge room and some toys were stolen, along with medication, phones, laptop, iPad, Nintendo switch, even perfumes that looked expensive. They went through every single nook and cranny and even left the fridge/freezer open for all her food to spoil.
"She is still discovering things that have been taken, but worst of all one item that was invaluable was the cremated remains of her unborn baby that was tucked away in a special place. We are hoping so badly they can return at least that."
Ms Newman told 7News she would feel "a lot better" about the situation if the thieves could return the urn with her baby's ashes.
She also thanked those that have generously donated so far online.
"I don’t really know what to say except thank you so much from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has donated to this or shared this and to everyone for your messages and offers of assistance," she said on Facebook.
"There are some rotten people in the world but for every one of them there is 1000 kind caring generous people like you all."
Police are asking for the public's help
Victoria Police are on the lookout for the thieves responsible, who allegedly entered the Cranbourne Road home by breaking the rear door frame between 12pm on Christmas Day and 11am the next day.
Those with information are encouraged to come forward to police or contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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