Burglars Return Stolen Ashes

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    The cremated remains of a loved one have now been returned to a family whose home near Aledo was broken in to on Thursday. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

    A heart-breaking story in Parker County now has a happy ending. The cremated remains of a loved one have now been returned to a family whose home near Aledo was broken in to on Thursday.

    Now, the family is extending words of gratitude to the culprits who, in the end, proved to have a heart.

    Burglars Return Stolen Ashes

    [DFW] Burglars Return Stolen Ashes
    The cremated remains of a loved one have now been returned to a family whose home near Aledo was broken in to on Thursday. (Published Saturday, May 30, 2009)

    "Apparently they came straight in and went right to my closet and nothing else was disturbed," Betty Putnam tells NBCDFW.

    At first it appeared the burglars had only made off with two boxes of costume jewelry in Putnam's closet -- it wasn't until later that she noticed that something much more precious had been taken as well; an urn that contained the ashes of their daughter, Laura.

    Laura Putnam was killed in a well-publicized boating accident six years ago. At the time, Laura was anchored with some friends on a boat on Lake LBJ near Marble Falls. Another boat hit the one Laura was in at a high-rate of speed. The 23-year old's body was thrown into the water where she drowned. It was 2 weeks before authorities found her body. The family says that's why they had Laura's body cremated. 

    Once Betty Putnam realized her daughter's ashes had been stolen she was so overcome with emotion she collapsed. "I ultimately wound up on my knees in the living room. I was so stunned when I looked and saw that that was gone. I was mad about the break-in, I was mad about the jewelry, until this," Putnam says. 

    But through the media the Putnams were able to make a plea of sorts to the burglars to return Laura's remains.

    "The press, the television and radio responded to our family phenomenally," Judd Putnam, Laura's father, says.

    Within 24 hours an anonymous tip lead the Parker Co Sheriff to the entrance of a nearby gas well -- not 500 yards from the Putnam's home.

    "The urn itself was in a plastic shopping bag and they had been tied up," Judd Putnam says.

    While the thief or thieves may be morally bankrupt, it seems they are not without a conscience.

    "I'm extremely thankful to that individual that brought them back and I want to say thank you very much we appreciate it greatly. Even though you broke in to my house."