Local

Coarsegold woman pleading for return of mother's ashes

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Madera County family is devastated after thieves stole a loved one's remains. The crime happened near Colorado Springs, Colorado, but the pain is also being felt in Coarsegold.

Coarsegold's Holly Meyer lost her mother to cancer just over two years ago. Her mother, Terry Herrle, lived in Colorado but died while visiting family here. Now, once again, Meyer is grieving. "It's like losing her all over again," said Meyer.

Sunday, thieves broke into her father's home near Colorado Springs. They ransacked the house and took the urn containing her mother's ashes. "My daughter is nine and she's very upset now because someone took her grandma. So we're doing this all over again," said Meyer.

The urn was kept on a dresser and Meyer thinks it may have been mistaken for a jewelry box. "I remember looking at it when we got it and I don't know how you could open it without damaging it. And that's one of my biggest fears is that they will destroy it, trying to see what's in it. Or just toss it," said Meyer.

Meyer's father, Bob Herrle, spoke to a Colorado Springs television station, pleading for the return of his wife's remains. "They're not just ashes. They're her," said Herrle.

Herrle said he and his wife planned on being cremated and then, their ashes combined. The couple was married for 50 years. Terry Herrle quit working 19 years ago to care for him, when a brain tumor left his face partially paralyzed. "I know where she is. I know I'll meet her someday soon. But meanwhile, that's all I have. That's all I want back," said Herrle.

From more than 1,200 miles away, Meyer is also making a plea for the missing urn, hoping it will be returned and her parents, reunited. "He doesn't want the other things back. The TV and the camera and all that, we don't care about that stuff. We want the urn back. That's the more important than anything," said Meyer.

Investigators in Colorado do have a couple of clues. A person in the same area reported an attempted break in around the same time Sunday. It's hoped a description of the suspects and a description of their vehicle will lead to their arrests and the return of the remains.

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Tags:
coarsegold, madera county, crimetracker, burglary, local, amanda perez
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