GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – As if losing a child isn’t hard enough, a Long Island mother is feeling the heartbreak all over again.
She says her baby’s ashes were stolen from her home.
Now, she’s pleading for them to be returned.
Monique Hartley-Brown is reliving her most painful memory.
“No matter what I do he’s not gonna come back, but that piece of him that was with me is gone again,” Hartley-Brown said.
Ten years ago, the Garden City mother gave birth to a still-born baby boy. His ashes were kept in a small heart-shaped urn that has been snatched away from her by a pair of burglary suspects.
“This is the one thing that… means the most to me… It’s like losing him again,” the mother said.
Surveillance video shows two men breaking into her home. Hartley-Brown says it all happened while she was on vacation last month with her husband and children.
The determined thieves tried using a crow bar on the back door. When that failed they are seen prying open a window to get inside, snooping around in the dark, and grabbing what they could – including jewelry and electronics.
“I was just in awe and in disbelief… It’s mostly ‘whys’ in my head.”
When the mother took a closer look at what was taken, she realized the urn was also missing from the closet shelf in her bedroom.
“Why would they take that? Maybe they thought it was jewelry or something like that… It’s not right having to go through the process again, having to grieve him again,” Hartley-Brown added.
The heartbroken mother is begging those mystery burglars to return what’s left of her son because, while she says roughly $10,000 worth of items were stolen, there is no doubt her most prized possession was a tiny urn taken from a closet.