Stolen ashes of newborn returned to mother

Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 11:53 AM CST
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - A Minnesota woman reunited with the ashes of her infant daughter after they were stolen from her car.

Jennifer Rucci lost her newborn daughter several years ago.

She recently had lost her again when someone stole the baby’s ashes from her car, but the priceless memento has since been returned.

“We were hoping something would come out of this, but we really, you know, it just seemed so far-fetched,” Jennifer Rucci said.

She was losing hope that she would ever find Sophie’s ashes again. Her only daughter passed away in 2007 at just three weeks old.

“It was just devastating to find out, you know,” Jennifer Rucci said.

Last week, a box containing Sophie’s ashes was stolen from her car, among other items she planned to bring inside her sister Christine Rucci’s place in Minneapolis.

WCCO spoke with Christine Rucci on Monday.

“I just know whoever took her didn’t try to, I hope they have a heart and return her,” she said.

The interview was published, and someone responded to their plea.

On Wednesday, a woman reached out to WCCO with photos of the box, hoping to connect with the family.

“Gosh, I couldn’t believe it when we got your call,” Jennifer Rucci said.

The woman said she found the box outside, near their apartment not far from where it was stolen.

“It was great. We just hugged each other. We were just so, so happy,” Jennifer Rucci said.

Jennifer Rucci and her sister picked the box up just hours later, still intact with a few chips.

“I don’t mind any of the dents because we all have bumps and bruises and scars,” Jennifer Rucci said. “But this is Sophie, and she made it home anyway, and I’m so thankful.”

Jennifer Rucci said she hopes to be buried with her daughter one day, a hope that is restored.

“I can’t explain how important you guys were, and how helpful everything - none of this would have happened without you guys,” she said, referring to WCCO.

The identity of the person who stole the ashes remains unknown, but the family said they don’t care and are just glad to have Sophie’s ashes back home.