Grieving woman shattered after thieves steal sister's ashes - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Grieving woman shattered after thieves steal car -- and her sister's ashes

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A grieving woman is begging for help after thieves stole her car from a Jeffersonville gas station -- along with her sister's ashes.

Melody Cole and Krissy Mae Dunham were sisters and best friends, torn apart too soon. Cole describes her sister as a "very sweet girl" with a "very big heart" who would "do anything for anybody." Cole said Dunham died on December 21st at age 38 after suffering a severe asthma attack due to complications from a lifelong battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD.

A month later her remains were still in the trunk of Cole's 1999 green Mercury Sable when she pulled into the Thorntons off Court avenue in Jeffersonville. "I left the keys in the car and when I came back it (the car) was gone," said Cole.  According to a police report the incident happened around 2:45 in the afternoon on Jan. 21. Court records say Cole pulled into pump 18 and as she walked in another car drove up from behind with two people inside. They both got out. One pretended to wash the window, while the other went to Cole's car and drove off toward Louisville.

Cole said her sisters ashes were in a plastic bag in the trunk of her car. "I think it's just as bad (as losing my sister), if not worse, because I felt as long as she was with me, I still had her. I still had her close to me, and I think it hits me so much harder now that I don't have her with me and that I don't know where she is. I don't have anything left to hold onto."

The stolen 1999 green Mercury Sable has an Air Force sticker on the back driver's side window. Surveillance video shows the thieves getting away in just 24 seconds. Jeffersonville Police said they can't piece together clues from the footage because it's too dark and distorted when amplified.  Despite the time that's passed officers said Dunham's remains may still be in Cole's trunk. "It's very possible this vehicle has been abandoned and just not discovered yet," said Det. Todd Hollis of Jeffersonville Police. "It may be abandoned in a neighborhood or a parking lot...three towns away, and it's sitting at a parking lot in a grocery store and no one knows it's stolen."

Cole realizes her mistake: she painfully regrets leaving those keys in the car.

"If she doesn't return, I have to face that," Cole said. She said for her sister she must make it right. "I know that if it was her, she would do anything for me," Cole said. "I don't care about the car. I don't care about the valuables. I don't care about pressing charges. I just want my sister's ashes back, please."

Police say Cole's vehicle is among several stolen during a recent string of car thefts in and around the Jeffersonville Thorntons.

Cole is offering a $300 reward to anybody who returns her sister's remains. If you have information, contact the Jeffersonville Police tipline at 812-218-TIPS (8477).

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