Stolen ashes in Australind

Headshot of Shannon Verhagen
Shannon VerhagenSouth Western Times
An Australind family has been left heartbroken after the ashes of a loved one were stolen in a home burglary last month.
Camera IconAn Australind family has been left heartbroken after the ashes of a loved one were stolen in a home burglary last month. Credit: Shannon Verhagen

An Australind family who lost their much-loved grandfather in 2015 has been left broken-hearted all over again after his ashes were stolen in a home burglary last month.

Beloved family man and pilot Roy Scaife died at age 87, leaving behind a wish to have his ashes scattered at the RAAF base where he first learnt to fly.

But that may never happen, after his ashes were tragically stolen from the family home.

His widow Cathy made the devastating discovery upon returning from a holiday, the ashes among a number of valuables stolen from her Australind home overnight on January 23.

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After reporting the incident to police, she contacted funeral director Adrian Barrett, pictured, to help get the word out in the hope they would be returned.

“It’s just heart wrenching,” Mr Barrett said.

“They’re not of value to somebody else, but they’re of immense value to the family, so you’d hope if someone has them, they’d have the heart to return them or leave them somewhere they might be found.

“At some point you’d think they must’ve realised what they had.”

The ashes were held in a white Bunbury Cemetery Board container with a floral emblem on top and Mr Barrett asked people to keep a look out, as it was possible the thieves had disposed of the urn after realising what it was.

“People are more than welcome to bring it into us and we can organise to return them to the family,” he said.

Mr Barrett said it was an upsetting time for the family and hoped someone would come forward so Roy’s ashes could be reunited with his family.

“Having the remains of a loved one taken – it’s something that people would never get over,” he said. “They’ve had the death, and the remains – which is all they had left of their loved one – are gone.”

“We’d love to know what’s happened to them, where they are and to get them back to the family.”

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