[UPDATE] Burglar Steals Urn with Man's Ashes Inside

UPDATED 1.18.2012 by Julie Montanaro

A widow and her daughter are calling it a miracle and one of our viewers made it happen.

A burglar stole an urn filled with a man's ashes.

Last week, the family made a plea for its safe return. Today their prayers were answered.

It's a day Lela Turpin and her daughter feared would never come. A custom made Harley Davidson urn holding the ashes of husband and father Robert Turpin was returned to them by a Leon County Sheriff's Detective.

"We didn't have much hope that it was gonna come back to us but when it did it was kind of God sent. We're really happy," said Melissa Flaurr.

The urn, which has Turpin's name, birth date and death date right on it, was stolen from Melissa's home on Nannette Drive last week. She fought back tears as she pleaded for its return on Friday.

"Me and my family just wanted to celebrate the little bit left that we had of him," she said.

The call came just hours later. A man contacted police saying he had found the urn in a dumpster off South Monroe Street. He told detectives he had seen the story on WCTV and was anxious to turn it in.

"He saw the urn in the dumpster and immediately recognized it as possibly the urn that was aired on television," said Property Crimes Detective Craig Henry.

Detectives did not release the man's name, but Melissa and her mother can't thank him enough for returning the urn just days before what would have been Robert Turpin's 49th birthday.

"It's a miracle. I mean I'm really glad that there is people out there still that has good citizenship and good heart," said widow Lela Turpin.

The family's top priority was getting that urn back. Yet detectives say they are still trying to find out who stole it in the first place.
January 13, 2012 by Julie Montanaro

A Tallahassee woman is making a plea for help tonight after a burglar broke in and stole her father's ashes.

Melissa Flaurr and her family are heartbroken.

Flaurr says she and her fiance were in the process of moving out of this house on Nannette Drive.

When they came back Monday to collect the last of their belongings, they discovered that burglars had made off with some clothes and some crystal and shockingly, the ashes of Flaurr's father Robert Turpin.

"It's all we had left of my dad. We have good memories, but his birthday would have been January 21st and he would have been 49 and you know, me and my family just wanted to celebrate, you know, the little bit left that we had of him and we just ask whoever took it or if anybody knows anything to please return it."

It's a custom made Harley Davidson panhead urn.

The stolen urn has Turpin's name on it as well as his dates of birth and death. His picture was sitting on top the plaque, but the burglar left it behind.

If you have any information, call Crime Stoppers at 850-574-TIPS.

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