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Ashes of 87-year-old woman stolen as family prepares for memorial

October 02, 2013|By Veronica Rocha
  • Family photo of Lois LaRocco.
Family photo of Lois LaRocco. (Lily LaRocco )

The cremated ashes of an 87-year-old Burbank woman were stolen from a minivan parked outside the home of relatives who had planned a memorial gathering this weekend for the woman.

The ashes of Lois LaRocco, who died in late August due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease, were contained in a navy blue leather urn that had been left overnight in a minivan as family members prepared for the memorial gathering and wrestled with how to discuss the urn with the woman’s grandchildren.

“I can't even describe what I feel,” said Lily LaRocco, the woman’s stepdaughter. “It's just awful. She was entrusted to me. She was supposed to be with me and she is not.”

Lily LaRocco said she picked up her stepmother's ashes from a local funeral home last week and returned home, leaving the ashes hidden in the back seat as the weekend family get-together approached.

Thieves reportedly broke into the minivan, parked outside the family’s Glendale home, late Sunday, stealing roughly $6,000 worth of valuables, including a brown fanny pack, a purse, various beauty items and the satchel containing Lois LaRocco’s ashes.

“I don't care about the other stuff. I just want her back,” said Steve Legino, Lily LaRocco’s husband. The thieves took “my kids' grandma,” he added.

Now the family is asking for the public’s help in retrieving the ashes.

“Everything else can be replaced,” Lily LaRocco said. “But she can't be replaced."

Anyone with details about the urn can call Glendale police burglary detectives at (818) 548-4045. To remain anonymous, call Glendale Crime Stoppers at (818) 507-7867.

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veronica.rocha@latimes.com

Veronica Rocha writes for Times Community News.

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