Georgia burglar steals baby's ashes

9:50 AM, May 24, 2013   |    comments
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MARIETTA, Ga. (WXIA) -- A burglar broke into a couple's Cobb County home Monday morning, stole the usual collection of valuables that burglars usually take -- and, sadly, stole much, much more.

The burglar also stole a silver box that contains the ashes of the couple's son, who died at birth.

Monday evening the father, Jody Hughey, through his tears, showed 11Alive's Jon Shirek a photo of the box, hoping someone will spot it and return it.

The couple's best hope, now: "That we get our son back."

Jody and Haley Hughey's infant son was Caleb Ean Hughey, who died at birth on October 16, 2008.

The silver box, serving ever since as the urn, has an unmistakably personal engraving on the top of it.

"It's got his name, Caleb Ean Hughey, and his birth date," Jody said.

On Monday morning the Hugheys were both out of the house, and when Haley came home at around noon, Jody said, "There was glass all over the floor" in the dining area.

A burglar had walked into their backyard, stood on top of their air conditioner next to the house, reached up to break a pane of glass in a window , unlatched the window, climbed through into the house, then helped himself to jewelry and other valuables, including the silver box on top of the dresser.

"It is a shiny, silver-looking box," Jody said, "so they might have thought that the box itself was of value. They may not have even realized what was in there. And they may have simply thought, 'That's a nice looking box, there's probably some expensive jewelry in there.' You know, I'm assuming they didn't even open it to look in, they just shoved it into a backpack and took off."

Just that quickly, Jody said, he and his wife lost their son a second time.

"We've struggled with infertility for about four or five years now, and we've not been able to have children, other than the one. And he was born prematurely. We lost him at birth." Jody caught his breath, in grief, in tears. "So he is, to us, he is our only son. And it's very important we get him back."

The box is square, about four inches by four inches, and about two or three inches deep.

"It's got a border engraved around it and an angel engraved on the top of the box. Basically -- little hearts engraved around the border, and an angel engraved on the center," just above Caleb's name and birth date.

And the Hugheys are asking that anyone who sees it to call Cobb County Police or 911.

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