South Philadelphia Family Devastated After Thief Steals Father’s Ashes During Car Break-In

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A car break-in has left a local family devastated after a thief walked way with the cremated remains of their father. Now the family is hoping someone will come forward.

Car break-ins are a sad reality in the city. Sometimes valuables are stolen, sometimes it’s just spare change.

But in this case, what was taken is worth nothing to a thief and everything to a local family

Parking can be hard to find in South Philadelphia so an open spot at 8th and Wolf Streets on the night of the 25th felt like a Christmas miracle to Kathryn Orr.

But the next morning she received a call from her sister, who had gone out to use the car.

“She called me and said that someone had broken into the car and there is stuff everywhere and I immediately said ‘Kels, are the ashes there?’ and she just started crying,” Orr said.

The ashes are that of their father, Bruce.

“He loved the holidays, he loved Christmas, he loved New Year’s, he loved the Mummers — he really was a Philadelphia guy,” Orr said.

Orr’s dad died a little more than two years ago. The siblings had recently spread some of his ashes in their dad’s favorite spot in Wildwood.

“I kept them in the car. I couldn’t bring myself to move them, my sister couldn’t bring herself to move them and it just felt good to have the ashes in the car,” she said.

Well, they’re not there anymore. The box the ashes were in is gone following the break-in. It was white with pink trim, reading “you are loved.”

Credit: CBS3

“Whoever took this, when they realized what it was or what it wasn’t what they thought it was, maybe just threw it on the ground and now it’s gone,” Orr fears.

Her biggest hope is that someone might see this story, recognize the box and return it.

At first, Orr says she felt guilty for keeping the ashes in the car and angry at whoever took them, until her brother told her this: “Whoever did this, they’re not OK. They need help themselves. We can use this as an opportunity to help him or other people in our community,” Orr said.

Police are investigating.

If you recognize the box and maybe know who took it, email Hoff@CBS3.com.