Philadelphia woman devastated after father's ashes stolen from her car

"It's all I have left of him," the woman told Action News.

Beccah Hendrickson Image
Thursday, April 25, 2024
Philadelphia woman devastated after father's ashes stolen from her car
Philadelphia woman devastated after father's ashes stolen from her car

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A Philadelphia woman is looking for answers after she says someone stole her father's ashes from her car this week.

Haley Ann Burgess from the Mayfair neighborhood says she went out to her car Tuesday morning for work to find it had been ransacked.

All that was missing, however, was about $20 in loose change and an urn with her father's ashes inside.

"My car was definitely locked. I'm very meticulous about that. That's how I know it was locked," said Burgess, who is confused as she is heartbroken.

"They left the picture. They left this. This is probably worth more than the urn," she said, pointing to a piece of jewelry with her dad's picture inside.

She says she has more questions than answers.

"Why? Why my dad's ashes? Of all things in the car, you take ashes and loose change and money," Burgess noted.

She says the crime happened sometime between Monday night and Tuesday morning around 6 a.m.

That's when she found that her car, which had been parked on the 4000 block of Teesdale Street, was broken into.

"I'm looking, my cash was gone, everything was thrown everywhere. I turn to look at my door because that's where I keep a picture of my dad and his urn that's maybe this big. It's dark gray, has three silver rings on it, and it was gone," she said.

It was all she had left of her dad, Dave Jonassen, who passed away suddenly in 2019. Wednesday marked exactly five years since his death. She liked to take him with her on the road.

"My dad was a mechanic, so our thing my whole life was just cruising on the road, jamming to Van Halen, Ozzy, rocking out," she said.

Haley Ann Burgess and her late father Dave Jonassen

She says she's spent hours scouring the block, hoping to find out what happened.

Burgess learned a few other neighbors had their cars broken into as well, but at this point, no one can find surveillance.

She's also made a report with the police, but she says she doesn't care about the money. She just wants the ashes returned.

"It has no monetary value. It's my dad's ashes. It's all I have left of him," she said.

Anyone with information on this incident is urged to contact the police.