Agony at theft of stillborn baby's ashes
A BALLINA mother is devastated after the ashes of her stillborn baby - the twin of a surviving daughter - were stolen from her home at the weekend.
Ballina police have described the crime as "disgusting" and are appealing for any information.
But Justine Driscoll just wants the precious white box containing the remains of her daughter, Zoe, to be returned.
Zoe was still-born eight years ago when Ms Driscoll was 32 weeks pregnant with twins. Olivia, now 8, survived and is the younger sister to 12-year-old twins, Ruby and Kyuss.
But the heartbreak of losing Zoe has stayed with the family, and Ms Driscoll said having the baby's ashes stolen from their home made her "feel sick".
She said she left her East Ballina home for a few hours on Saturday afternoon.
But it wasn't until Sunday morning that she noticed someone had broken in. Panic set in when she realised what had been stolen.
"I noticed that the screen had been taken off the window," she said.
"Then when I went to my bedroom I saw the lid was off my jewellery box and everything was missing from that. Luckily none of it was very expensive - all the good stuff was taken when we were robbed about 12 years ago.
"But my heart sunk when I saw that little white box with her (Zoe's) ashes was missing."
The small, white shiny box containing the ashes was stored in a larger, painted white timber box, about the size of a box of biscuits.
It was tucked away in Ms Driscoll's walk-in wardrobe, so she was surprised that someone had gone to the trouble to find it.
"Obviously whoever took it thought it had something valuable in it," she said. "But this is more than valuable to our family; it is so important to us.
"We have looked everywhere for Zoe's ashes; in the streets around our home and in the gardens.
"We thought that whoever stole the box might have dumped it once they realised what was inside.
"We haven't been able to find it anywhere.
"I would love to get that box back ... I feel really weird without it. But I can't do anything. It's devastating."