Mesa war veteran's ashes stolen during burglary - FOX Carolina 21

Mesa war veteran's ashes stolen during burglary

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MESA, AZ (CBS5) -

Just days before Christmas, thieves left Shirley Burke with an empty home and a heavy heart.

"I can't even imagine why you would feel it would be necessary to take something like that for someone. You've left my mother who is 75 years old with absolutely nothing," said Shirley Burke's daughter, Paula Burke.

Shirley Burke put her house up for sale in May. While she was out of town last week, she got a call from her real-estate agent, who said there had been a burglary.

"There wasn't a shelf or a drawer that they missed, and they took pretty much anything of value that you could imagine," said Paula Burke.

Police said the crooks broke in sometime between the evening of Dec. 14 and early the next morning. It wasn't until yesterday the family realized the ashes of Doyle "Sunny" Burke had been taken.

"I'm still devastated that somebody would stoop to do something like this. It's hard enough on me, but it's really hard on the girls," said Shirley Burke.

"My dad was a war veteran for this country. He was a police officer. He served this community. He deserves better than be just taken and stolen from this family," said Paula Burke.

Shirley Burke said she's come to terms with losing her possessions, but said she can't imagine being without her husband.  The Burkes hope whoever stole Doyle Burke's ashes will redeem themselves by returning them.

"I would like very much for them to make some arrangements. I don't care if they just leave them somewhere for us to pick up. I just ask that they just please return them to the family," said Shirley Burke.

The ashes were in a dark blue box. Inside the box is a plastic bag with Doyle Burke's name and the date he died.

Mesa police officials said investigators still aren't certain how the crooks broke into the house.

Detectives are looking for a person of interest. He is between 25 and 35 years old and has a shaved head and prison-style tattoos on his arms. Police said he was driving an early 2000's white Chevy pickup, standard cab, with a short bed. The truck had been slightly lowered.

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