Lacey mother heartbroken after burglar steals baby's ashes

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LACEY, Wash. -- As if the heartache of losing a child wasn't enough, a mother in Lacey says she's now grieving all over again thanks to a burglar who stole her daughter's ashes.

Jessica Heffner always kept her daughter's ashes in a locked safe inside her home because they are perhaps her most prized possession. The ashes are all she has left of the baby she named Hope -- a baby she never got to meet because Hope died when Heffner was 21 weeks pregnant with triplets.

Now, the surviving triplets and the rest of the family have lost Hope for the second time.

"That was the only thing actually, the only thing I have of her," said Heffner. "I didn't get a picture. I didn't get to hold her. Didn't get to see her at all. All I had were her ashes."

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Someone broke into their home sometime Wednesday and ransacked it. Investigators with the Thurston County Sheriff's Office say the burglar stole electronics and medication, and then found a key to the family's safe, from which they took the tiny velvet bag that contained Hope's ashes.

Heffner thinks the thief likely thought there was jewelry inside the small bag.

"All I want are her ashes back. I don't want any of the other stuff, I don't care. I just want my daughter back," said Heffner. "I don't know how to move forward from this, if I don't get the ashes back. I don't know how to move on from that."

So far, investigators have no leads in the case. Anyone with information is asked to call the Thurston County Sheriff's Office.