With each day that goes by, the parents know it is less likely that someone will return the stolen ashes of their baby.
The promise of a $1,000 reward hasn’t brought any good leads to help authorities find the plastic urn that police say was taken from a Marion apartment on Sunday. Inside that small, square box were the cremated remains of Layton Ryan Stover, who lived for only one day after his birth.
Parents Saundra Winkle and Dustin Stover, both in their early 20s and now expecting another child, are too distraught to talk about the theft. But Winkle’s friend, Kevin Ledgerwood, said the couple is devastated.
“It blows their mind, how someone could do this,” said Ledgerwood, who put up $500 for the reward. The owner of the apartment building where the couple lives, on Owens Street north of the downtown, has offered the other half.
“When they realized what was gone, they didn’t know what to do. How can anyone be so sick?”
The couple was gone all day Sunday and returned about 7:15 p.m. to find their front door open and a window open, said Marion police detective Eric Marsh. He said jewelry, a computer, electronics and power tools also were stolen.
There is video surveillance from outside the complex, and police are reviewing it, he said.
There’s little chance a thief wouldn’t have known what was in the urn, Ledgerwood said. The plastic container holding the ashes was nested inside a wooden box atop a dresser, surrounded by memorial mementos with Bible sayings and Layton’s name. His name also was written on the urn. The thief left the wooden box behind, taking only what held the ashes.
“It is definitely an odd occurrence,” Marsh said. “I know the family is struggling with it.”
Ledgerwood and others went door to door handing out fliers in the neighborhood to spread the word of the loss and of the reward.
“Maybe someone will see it in the thief’s house and bring the baby home,” Ledgerwood said. “That’s all we can hope for now.”
Anyone with any information is asked to call the Marion Police Department at 740-387-2525.
By Holly Zachariah - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)
©2013 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)
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