Alyssa Ruiz came home to her Phoenix, Arizona, apartment on Valentine's Day, only to find the place had been ransacked and items were stolen. While items you'd expect to be taken in a home burglary were indeed whisked away from her home, such as a laptop and a TV, she was shocked to find the box where her infant's ashes were stored upended and empty.
Her baby, Matthew Isaiah Hernandez, passed away nearly eight years ago, and as Ruiz couldn't afford a burial at the time, she had her child cremated and placed in a lovely silver box for safekeeping. The lid of the box was engraved with his name, birth date and a message, and his ashes were nestled inside, sealed within a bag — but the box was upside down, and the ashes were nowhere to be found.
She wants the burglars to return the bag, and she promises she will ask no questions. She just wants her baby back and hopes they will return his ashes to her door. "I feel very violated by what they did," she told Fox 10. "I just want him back."
It's hard to imagine the heartbreak of losing a child in the first place, but then to have his remains stolen on top of that? Unimaginable. It's unfortunately common for urns to be stolen during home burglaries, because they are often made from desirable materials, but I can't imagine why someone would toss aside a box and take the ashes inside for any reason other than to cause further grief for a mourning mother — unless they didn't take the time to read the inscription and thought there was something valuable in the ashes, which is a really terrible thing to think about.
By sharing her story with the media, maybe those responsible will realize what they took and why they should return it. She hopes that those responsible will feel bad about their actions and will return the bag. I'm hopeful too, because even though someone commits an illegal act, they can still have a conscience.
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