Moline woman wants her mom’s urn and ashes returned by burglars

MOLINE - Moline police tonight are looking for burglars who took an urn containing the ashes of a woman who died of cancer 8 years ago.

The thieves broke into a storage unit in Moline on Monday night, by cutting off the lock.

The owner, Brandy Emo, had stored the urn in a safe, along with wrapped Christmas gifts, and electronics until she moved into a larger apartment.

"I live in an efficiency apartment and I don't have the room for the safe and everything. I thought it would be safe here," she said during an interview at the storage facility.

Emo's mom passed away in 2009. The urn was stored inside a case in the safe, which was about 60 pounds and fireproof.

Surveillance video is dark and grainy, but shows what appears to be a van pull up to the storage unit, and two people loading up the vehicle several times.

Emo, a pharmacy tech, has three children and seven grandchildren, and says she was all prepared for Christmas with the presents wrapped and ready in the storage unit.

"Toys, clothes, electronics," she said, adding she saves up for the holiday all year long.

"She goes all out every year for Christmas for the whole family," said her daughter, Justice Gruner.

Emo says she has renters insurance, and she has been in touch with a claims agent.

But, that won't help retrieve what is irreplaceable. So, she's appealing to the burglars, to bring back her safe.

"Can you please give my mom's ashes back? That's the only thing I want back are my mom's ashes."