A Polk County widow wants her late husband’s ashes back.

Deputies and Michele Newsome are appealing to the public for help finding the person who broke into her Bartow home this week. 

Around 1 p.m. Wednesday, Newsome returned home to find the glass door to her bedroom shattered. Her belongings were rifled through and there was glass everywhere.  But what she couldn’t find is what upset her the most—an urn containing the ashes of her late husband Buddy.  

Buddy Newsome, a former Lakeland police officer passed away in 2015 after a battle with cancer. Michele kept his ashes in a small urn inside of a velvet box next to her bed.  

“But when you have lived with your late husband’s ashes, who I truly dearly loved, beside my bed since his passing and I go and open this box and I find this urn is gone and he is gone,  they have stolen something that cannot be replaced… and I want my husband back,” she said.

Investigators believe the culprit may be responsible for several other break-ins in the area. 

Surveillance images released by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office shows a person near a white van outside of the home around the time the burglary occurred.  

“At the end of the day we got a full court press on to find and identify these folks, but the power of the community is much more powerful than we are,” said Sheriff Grady Judd.

“I know you have family, you wouldn’t want this to happen to you or to them,” said Newsome.

Those with information on the person responsible should call 863-298-6200.