Infant’s stolen ashes returned to grieving parents; burglar arrested

A tiny box containing the cremated remains of a baby boy have been returned to his parents, a week after they were stolen during a burglary, the Elmhurst Police Department reported.

Police said they’d made an arrest in the burglary and recovered several items stolen from the Illinois home of Sue and Jim LaDeur on December 10, including the ashes.

Twins Billy and Matt LaDeur were born nine weeks early in 2014, their mother, Sue LaDeur, told WGN. Matt was healthy, but Billy, with excessive fluid retention in the womb, according to the Chicago Tribune, died after 10 days.

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“We are hopeful that reuniting the remains with the family will help to bring them closure and peace,” Elmhurst police said.

Sue LaDeur described the small white box that was taken, saying the thieves likely “thought it was a jewelry box.” A three by three void in the dust was visible on the dresser where the box sat.

“It has no value to anyone else,” Sue LaDeur said. “But to us, it is invaluable.”

The LaDeurs said they had planned to be buried with the ashes. Little Billy’s twin, Matt, is now in preschool, and the LaDeurs have two older children.

Elmhurst police said they would announce charges against the burglar soon.

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[Featured image: Screenshot from WGN video]