'We just want our baby back': Family pleads for return of stolen ashes

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By Jim Carr By Jim Carr

UPDATE: A Peoria family whose home was burglarized on November 19 is offering a $200 reward for the return of a red wooden box that contained the ashes of a baby who died 13 years ago from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Police released a photo of a box that resembles the one that was taken.

If you have any information regarding this burglary please contact the Peoria Police Tip Line at 623-773-7045 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS. The family has also set up an e-mail address to receive information: tylers.ashes@gmail.com.

ORIGINAL STORY:

PEORIA -- It was a heartbreaking scene outside a Peoria home Thursday. A teenager came home from school to learn a burglar had stolen his twin brother's ashes.

To the criminal the ashes are worthless, but they are obviously priceless to the family. Now they have a desperate plea to anyone who can help bring home this child's remains.

Police spent the afternoon combing the home for clues while the family spent the day in tears.

The family was robbed sometime between 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. The criminal or criminals got away with a 52-inch TV, an Xbox and a few laptops. But it was the small jewelry box that sat in a glass case that has the family in turmoil.

“That's what matters,” Taylor Ross said. “I don’t care what else got stolen -- my stuff, anyone’s stuff -- that's what matters."

Thirteen-year-old Taylor Ross's twin brother Tyler passed away from SIDS when he was just 5 months old. The family placed the baby's ashes inside the small jewelry box so, although no longer living, Tyler could maintain a presence in the home.

"He died when I was young. He is gone now. I don’t really have a connection to him,” Taylor said. “That’s the only thing we really have of him.”

"That's all he has,” cried Lindsay Grannis, the Taylor's mother. “He never knew his brother. He was only 5 months old when he died. He doesn’t remember him. All he has is the urn.”

The family is hoping the burglars realize what they have and either turn it in to authorities or have someone simply drop it off on their porch.

"We don’t care about anything else, Grannis said. “We just want our baby back."

"We are going to keep that place open for him, that little space that we have for him,” said Irene Bachmann, Taylor’s grandmother. “It will be there.”

“I just want my brother back,” Taylor added.

The family is putting together money for a reward.

The jewelry box is small, a reddish-pink color, has flowers on it and a lock in the front.