GIBSONTON, Fla. (WFLA) — A Hillsborough County family told 8 On Your Side they need help after thieves broke into their car and stole their daughter’s ashes over the weekend.
Stefanie Zito-Lemaster admits she left her car unlocked when a group of thieves went around the Carriage Pointe neighborhood overnight Saturday stealing items from vehicles.
Lemaster woke up to discover her vehicle ransacked and her daughter’s ashes gone.
“We lost our daughter once, now we’ve lost her permanently for the rest of our lives,” Lemaster said.
Lemaster keeps the ashes in her center console. Her daughter died in 2019 from Sudden Infant Death syndrome.
“Her life was cut so short, so she comes everywhere with me, her ashes are in my car so she can be with me at all times,” she said.
Lemaster shared she can’t wrap her mind around why thieves would take the ashes.
“They tossed all of the bags to everyone’s stuff that they stole once they got everything they wanted, so when they saw that how can a human not feel bad about it.”
Lemaster is hopeful the ashes will be returned as the family celebrates their deceased daughter’s birthday every year and include her in holiday celebrations.
“I don’t have much of a heart left after I lost my daughter, but they just took the rest of it that I do have, and I’m just hoping for a Christmas miracle.”
Anyone with information on the thefts is asked to contact the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.