Family appeals to thieves to return their loved one
Scott and Rebecca Culhane received the worst parting ‘gift’ from the Finley community they could ever imagine.
The pair have had to make their way to their new home in the Northern Territory this week without knowing where the ashes of Scott’s stepfather Mel Holness have ended up.
The ashes were stolen from a storage facility in Finley, where they were keeping their belongings before the move, in mid-December.
They were discovered missing just two days before the Culhanes left for a family trip over Christmas.
Mrs Culhane said they had hoped the ashes would have been found by their return from holidays, but she said the ‘‘disgusting’’ theft is still hanging over their heads.
The Culhanes are now pleading with anyone in the community who knows where the ashes are to be please hand them in.
Mrs Culhane said the ashes were in a box that looks very similar to a jewellery box, but cannot be opened.
‘‘The ashes were in something that looks very much like an antique jewellery box, and it was wrapped in a blue and black flannel check shirt that belonged to Mel,’’ she said.
‘‘The box has no latches, which is how it was given to us after the cremation.
‘‘We were going to scatter his ashes before we left for the Northern Territory, and we had it in a box at the very back of the storage shed.
‘‘It’s just disgusting. That box has no value to anyone except us.
‘‘We don’t care if we never see the other stolen items again, but we do want the ashes returned.’’
The Culhane family’s boxes and furniture had only been moved into the Howe St, Finley storage facility weeks before it was broken in to.
Mrs Culhane said the items only had to be stored for one month after their home sold and before this week’s move.
The Culhanes had been staying with friends in Finley in the meantime and were regularly visiting the shed to prepare for the relocation and to sell off unwanted items.
‘‘We went to the shed on December 12, and then when we went back about 7.30pm on the 13th we noticed the break-in. ‘‘They literally went through every box. ‘‘Scott was meant to spend his last day at work on the 14th, but he could not go because we had to spend that time repacking everything.
‘‘And we did not want to leave anything there after that.
‘‘Some of our items had been broken, my jewellery box containing a few watches and some sentimental items like medals were taken, other jewellery, a Play Station 3 and some garden lights were also missing.
‘‘Nothing taken had any real value — it’s mostly all of sentimental value.’’
Mrs Culhane said given everything was ransacked, it seems like the thieves were looking for something in particular.
She does not believe any other sheds at the storage facility were broken into, and can see no reason why theirs was targetted.
Anyone who can assist with the return of Mr Holness’ ashes is asked to take them to Finley Police Station, where officers will arrange for them to be returned to the family.