Tumamoc Hill thief breaks into hiker’s car, steals relative’s ashes

Thief brakes into woman's car near Tumamoc Hill

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A Tucson mother is sharing her plea for help after her silver Kia Soul was broken into this morning.

Joanne Schultz parks her car and hikes up Tumamoc Hill three times a week.

Her typical morning hike with friends became anything but when she returned back to her parked car.

“My friend turned and said oh my god your car,” Schultz said.

In the hour it takes to make the three mile trip someone smashed her car window Tuesday morning making her the latest victim of a burglary along the roadway.

The thief took off with what he figured would be the biggest payout: her purse. However, it was what Schultz had inside her purse that is more valuable than all of it combined.

"I had a bag of memento's including my daughter’s ashes in a vial in my purse because I carry her with me to Tumamoc.”

A thief broke into a woman's car near the base of Tumamoc Hill on Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2020. The thief made off with the woman's purse, which held a family ring and a portion of her stepdaughter's ashes.
A thief broke into a woman's car near the base of Tumamoc Hill on Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2020. The thief made off with the woman's purse, which held a family ring and a portion of her stepdaughter's ashes. (Source: KOLD News 13)

It’s a hike they used to do together and, in a way, still do. Schultz’s step daughter, Kaylie, passed away in August 2019, a month after her 23rd birthday.

It’s a piece of her daughter that’s priceless among the other items.

“The rest of the stuff is just stuff. I can get any of it back, but she’s--she’s already gone,” Schultz said.

Alongside her daughter’s ashes, Schultz also carried credit cards and a family ring.

Schultz knows the chances that the items will be returned are slim, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t coming back.

A thief broke into a woman's car near the base of Tumamoc Hill on Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2020. The thief made off with the woman's purse, which held a family ring and a portion of her stepdaughter's ashes.
A thief broke into a woman's car near the base of Tumamoc Hill on Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2020. The thief made off with the woman's purse, which held a family ring and a portion of her stepdaughter's ashes. (Source: KOLD News 13)

"This vehicle will be here three days a week and we’ll be back here on Thursday and if they just left it anywhere on the car or near the car or whatever, I’d be grateful,” she said.

The purse itself was a Coach bag, but the ashes were inside of a small pink Victoria's Secret coin pouch.

Thankfully, the family does still have some ashes left over, but they want as much of their daughter back as possible.

If you find any of these items you can contact Tucson Police Department.

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