West University couple devastated after infant's ashes stolen

WEST UNIVERSITY PLACE, Texas – A West University couple says they are completely and utterly devastated after someone broke into their home and stole something so personal and so special.

"When I was headed up there that was the first thing that came to my mind is, 'I hope he took everything but that,'" recalls A.J. Gracely.

"That" is a box which held the ashes of their 3 -month-old son Julien who passed away in 2016.

"So Julien was one of a twin and he definitely had a very, unique personality," says his mother Siobhan, with a glowing smile across her face.  "We got to compare that with his twin sister."

When the Gracelys returned home this past Sunday evening they discovered someone had broken in through the back door of their home on the 2700 block of Robin Hood in West U. Motion sensors show the break-in happened around 6:45 the previous evening.  The burglar got away with several watches -- but the Gracelys are most upset because the crook also stole Julien's ashes.

"For somebody to have broken into our home, which is such a violation in and of itself," says Siobhan Gracely through tears, "but then for them to take something that can never, ever, ever be replaced. There really are no words."

The Gracelys believe the thief likely did not know what was inside the box with the teddy bear on top.  They are hoping that the crook -- especially during this holiday season -- will simply find the heart to do the right thing and return one of the sweetest memories they have of baby Julien. 

"I know my son is in heaven," says Siobhan Gracely.  "But his ashes belong to us. And we want those ashes back."

The box the ashes were in is white and made of hard plastic.  It has a teddy bear etched on the top and a screw at the bottom which allows access to the ashes. Anyone with information on the theft or the whereabouts of the box is asked to contact the West University Police Department.



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