Woman's heartache as thieves steal car with her parents' ashes stored inside boot

The couple tragically both died of cancer within a fortnight of each other, and now their daughter is issuing a plea for help to have their ashes returned to her.
Sara left the ashes in the her Toyota CHR car overnight, and says she was devastated to discover the vehicle - and the ashes along with it - had been stolen from outside her house on Osborne Road, Nether Edge, Sheffield by the time she left her house at around 7.50am on Friday, November 24, 2023Sara left the ashes in the her Toyota CHR car overnight, and says she was devastated to discover the vehicle - and the ashes along with it - had been stolen from outside her house on Osborne Road, Nether Edge, Sheffield by the time she left her house at around 7.50am on Friday, November 24, 2023
Sara left the ashes in the her Toyota CHR car overnight, and says she was devastated to discover the vehicle - and the ashes along with it - had been stolen from outside her house on Osborne Road, Nether Edge, Sheffield by the time she left her house at around 7.50am on Friday, November 24, 2023

The heartbreak of a Sheffield woman whose parents died within days of each other has now turned to devastation, after thieves stole her car with their ashes stored inside.

Preparing for her parents' interment at the crematorium the following day, Sara Rodgers picked up the couple's ashes on the afternoon of Thursday, November 23, 2023.

Sara left the ashes in the her Toyota CHR car overnight, and says she was devastated to discover the car - and the ashes along with it - had been stolen from outside her house on Osborne Road, Nether Edge, Sheffield by the time she left her house at around 7.50am on Friday, November 24, 2023.

"My immediate thought was about the car being stolen, and it was only when my husband said: 'You do realise what was inside' that I realised," Sara said. Sara said she is still in possession of the keys to the car, and there was no sign of a break-in at her property.

She contacted the police straight away, and has also asked neighbours to check footage from their video doorbells, but no further information has emerged about the theft, or where the car is, so far. Sara is now asking members of the public to help her locate the box containing her parents' ashes, which she describes as being a 'light oak rectangular box, with David Smith and Jacqueline Smith engraved on the top'.

"I would like it returning because I would like to put them with their plaque at the crematorium," said Sara, referring to Rose Hill Crematorium in Doncaster, which is where her parents wished to be laid to rest due to their links with the area.

Sara believes her Toyota vehicle must have been stolen between 6pm on November 23 and 7.50am on November 24, when she left home and discovered the theft. She described how both of her parents, David and Jacqueline Smith, died a short time after being diagnosed with cancer.

"My mum died on July 21, 2023 from sepsis, even though she had been given two years to live after being diagnosed with cancer.  My dad was diagnosed in July with cancer and was given two weeks," said Sara, adding that her dad subsequently passed away on August 8, 2023. It's been utterly horrendous losing both of them within such a short space of time," said Sara.

Sara's mum, Jacqueline, was recognised for being the longest-serving nurse at Doncaster Royal Infirmary with an incredible 53 years of service, while her dad, David, worked as a joiner. Jacqueline passed away aged 72, and David was 75-years-old at the time of his death.

South Yorkshire Police has been contacted for comment.

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