Ashes of Doncaster couple who died weeks apart stolen in devastating car theft

The heartbreak of a woman whose Doncaster parents died within days of each other has now turned to devastation - after thieves stole her car with their ashes stored inside.
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Preparing for her parents' interment at the city’s Rose Hill Crematorium the following day, Sara Rodgers picked up the couple's ashes on the afternoon of Thursday, November 23.

Sara left the ashes of her mum Jacqueline and dad David in the her Toyota CHR car overnight, and says she was devastated to discover the car - and the ashes along with it - had been stolen from outside her house on Osborne Road, Nether Edge, Sheffield by the time she left her house at around 7.50am on November 24.

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"My immediate thought was about the car being stolen, and it was only when my husband said: 'You do realise what was inside' that I realised," Sara said.

The ashes were inside a car stolen in Nether Edge in Sheffield.The ashes were inside a car stolen in Nether Edge in Sheffield.
The ashes were inside a car stolen in Nether Edge in Sheffield.

Sara said she is still in possession of the keys to the car, and there was no sign of a break-in at her property.

She said: “I left my house to walk to my car to find that it was not parked where I left it. Obviously doubting myself, I walked up and down the street and then came to the conclusion that the car had been stolen.

“Immediately I was filled with devastation.”

She contacted the police straight away, and has also asked neighbours to check footage from their video doorbells, but no further information has emerged about the theft, or where the car is, so far.

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Sara is now asking members of the public to help her locate the box containing her parents' ashes, which she describes as being a 'light oak rectangular box, with David Smith and Jacqueline Smith engraved on the top'.

"I would like it returning because I would like to put them with their plaque at the crematorium," said Sara, referring to Rose Hill Crematorium, which is where her parents wished to be laid to rest due to their links with the area.

She described how both of her parents, David and Jacqueline Smith, died a short time after being diagnosed with cancer.

"My mum died on July 21, 2023 from sepsis, even though she had been given two years to live after being diagnosed with cancer. My dad was diagnosed in July with cancer and was given two weeks," said Sara, adding that her dad subsequently passed away on August 8, 2023.

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"It's been utterly horrendous losing both of them within such a short space of time," said Sara.

Sara's mum, Jacqueline, was recognised for being the longest-serving nurse at Doncaster Royal Infirmary with an incredible 53 years of service, while her dad, David, worked as a joiner.

Jacqueline passed away aged 72, and David was 75 at the time of his death.

South Yorkshire Police has been contacted for comment. Anyone with information on where the urn containing Sara's parents' ashes might be can contact Sara via the Free Press at [email protected] or contact police on 101.