The ashes of a teen girl who had been killed in a car crash were stolen and thrown on the street, say Calgary police, who are looking for help in solving a series of vehicle break-ins.
The incidents occurred on Aug. 2 in the area of 10th Street and Wapta Rise S.E. A number of vehicles were targeted, including a truck that carried a pouch containing the ashes of Colleen Ransom's 19-year-old daughter.
Ransom was barely able to hold back the tears Tuesday as she discussed losing her daughter for a second time.
Emma Ransom, 19, was killed along with two other women when the car they were driving in 2009 near Nanton, Alta., crossed the median and slammed into an oncoming car.
Since then Ransom has kept Emma's ashes in a green velvet pouch
But culprits took the pouch and dumped the ashes on the sidewalk, later tossing it to the side. A green jacket that belonged to Emma was also taken.
'Only things I have left of my daughter'
"The first thing I looked for were my daughter's ashes, and they were gone," she said.
"The policeman found the little pouch in the middle of the road and it was empty, so we went down to the corner and found the pile of ashes there. It had been raining, they were wet and we couldn't scoop them.
"We got a few anyways."
Ransom, who tightly clasped a large picture of her smiling daughter when speaking to the media Tuesday, said she always kept her close by.
"Anybody who has lost someone knows how precious it can be. They were the only things I have left of my daughter and I like her to come with me wherever I go," she said.
"I thought, who would do that? Who would take the ashes and dump them? And then I realized they probably didn't know they were my daughter's ashes."
The few remaining ashes are now safely in her home. Ransom said in future she plans to take her daughter's ashes with her, but will keep them in her purse.
Police looking for 3 teenage girls
Ransom said the pain of the loss of her daughter hasn't eased over the past four years.
"It never goes away. She's always there. I wake up … I think about her. I think about her constantly."
Calgary police are looking for three teenage girls who were spotted in the neighbourhood.
All three were very petite and one of them might be named Sarah, police said. One was blond, one had brown hair and the third had black hair.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
"It's hard for me to even imagine suffering the loss of a daughter and, of course, to have this happen again," said acting Staff Sgt. Lee Stanton.
"And now, unfortunately, our victim has been victimized once again, so we're looking for the public's help to find those responsible for that."