Biloxi woman pleads for help in finding daughter's stolen ashes

Biloxi woman pleads for help in finding daughter's stolen ashes

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - "She was so beautiful, beautiful, and now she's missing. Somebody took my baby," said Lorie Martinez.

That is the emotional plea from a Biloxi woman who is grieving the loss of her daughter - for a second time.

Someone broke into Martinez's Nixon St. home on Sunday while she was at a Florida hospital, taking care of her husband. Not only did the burglars steal household items, they also took something that can never be replaced - a wooden urn containing the ashes of Martinez's 25-year-old daughter, Tonya Schloss.

"It's hard dealing with her passing," said Martinez. "Now I don't know where she's at."

When she returned home and discovered the burglary, Martinez immediately ran into her bedroom and noticed the cherry-wood urn was gone.

"I called my son screaming, hysterical, saying, 'They took my baby, they took my baby.' Why would they take my baby," Martinez asked.

The only item left behind was a memorial picture of Tonya, who took her own life in 2015, that had been attached to the urn.

Martinez says the ashes bring her comfort.

"That's why I had her cremated so she'd be here with me forever. When I go, she's supposed to go with me," said Martinez.

Whenever family, including Tonya's three children, visit, they speak to the ashes.

"Her 9-year-old daughter came in and she said, 'Where's momma?' It's something personal and now, that's all been taken away," added Martinez, who is offering a reward for her daughter's ashes.

"Whoever has her has to have a heart somewhere. I'm scared to death that they threw her out. Oh God, I hope that didn't happen," said Martinez. "I'll never have nothing; no grave, nothing."

Martinez says she does not need her household items back. She just wants her daughter's ashes; no questions asked. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Biloxi Police Department at 228-435-6100, or the family at 205-765-8852.

"I just want my baby back," Martinez said with tear-filled eyes. "Even in her death she can't be at peace. She deserves to be at peace."

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