NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police on Staten Island are searching for a suspect after they say he stole a widow’s dog’s ashes right off her front porch in broad daylight.
15 years of happiness and laughter, gone within a matter of seconds when the remains of Gloria Johnson’s dog were ripped away.
“Knowing that I might never get him back is just hard,” she told CBS2’s Marc Liverman. “It’s just not fair.”
Her beloved Dakota was euthanized at South Shore Hospital less than a month ago after complications from a possible stroke.
Johnson had the dog cremated, planning to have Dakota’s remains delivered to her house on Tagree Street. Less than two weeks ago, the unthinkable happened.
“I can’t emotionally handle that he is either in the garbage or in a landfill,” she said.
Her neighbor’s surveillance camera captured it all. The thief rode in on a bike, scoped out the scene, grabbed the package off the front porch, and made off — all within a matter of seconds.
“I lay in bed and then I get up in the middle of the night and I go outside to check the porch,” she said. “Maybe somebody dropped him back.”
So far, they haven’t. The remains of best friend and Johnson’s support after her husband died from lung cancer just two months ago, callously ripped away.
“When my husband was sick for that year and a half, that dog was right there with my husband,” she said. “He lay with my husband and everything so he was a very good dog. A very emotional stabilizer, and I cry every time I talk about him.”
In Johnson’s bedroom, her husband’s ashes sit above the fireplace. The plan was to put Dakota’s ashes in an urn to its side, so that they could be close to each other and Johnson could be close to the both of them.
“It’s not a dog, it’s my baby,” she said. “We lived together, ate together, slept together.”
Johnson says she’s reaching out, hoping that whoever stole Dakota brings him back.
“I don’t want to see his face, I don’t want to press charges,” she said.
Johnson says her doctor has recommended she get a therapy dog, but she says she won’t be ready for that until Dakota’s remains are brought home.