Parents 'devastated' by ashes theft

Maldon and Burnham Standard: A label on a stolen box that contained the ashes of Oliver Ryan McElligott (Met Police) A label on a stolen box that contained the ashes of Oliver Ryan McElligott (Met Police)

A couple whose baby son's ashes were stolen in a burglary have been left "devastated" by the theft, police said.

The small white box, marked with Oliver Ryan McElligott's name and the date of his death, July 19 2011, was taken from his family's home in Highgate, north London, on February 6.

Police think the burglars might have mistaken the box containing the remains of Oliver, who was stillborn, for a jewellery box.

Amanda Ryan, 36, and her partner Daniel McElligott, who live at the house with their 12-year-old daugher, also had jewellery, laptops and mobile phones stolen.

Detective Constable Ursula Surgenor said: "The victims have been left devastated by the loss of their baby's ashes and we are appealing for any information or assistance from members of the public to bring about its return and to catch those responsible.

"The burglary took place between 1500 hrs and 1700 hrs on Thursday 6 February and we would like to hear from anyone who may have noticed anything or seen anyone acting suspiciously during this time, at this location.

"We would also like to hear from anyone who may have come across or seen a box matching the description to contact us."

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