Burnley man's appeal after uncle's ashes stolen during house burglary

A devastated Burnley man is appealing for information after his uncle's ashes were stolen during a burglary.

Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 1:31 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 1:32 pm
Dennis Sanderson (right) with his late brother, Mark and Howard's father, Les.

The incident happened sometime last week when burglars broke into Mark Sanderson parents' former bungalow in Burnley Road, Hapton.

The property, now owned by Mark's brother Howard, was effectively empty at the time of the break-in after being refurbished and sold.

Minimal damage was caused, but it appears the burglars have inadvertently made off with Mark and Howard's late uncle, Dennis Sanderson’s, ashes.

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Mark said: "They have most likely been mistaken for a bottle of wine or spirits, as the ashes were in a funeral director's urn in patterned bag – so they might have looked like a bottle in a gift bag.

"Most likely the thieves have discovered what they’ve taken, been disappointed, and discarded the ashes in the refuse or by dumping them in a location.

"Dennis was single and left us in charge of his estate after he sadly died of Covid-19 in November last year. He had spent his last year living in a superb caring environment at Oakland’s Nursing Home, Briercliffe.

"When Dennis died mid-lockdown we had no alternative but to organise a direct cremation for him, and had just been discussing arranging together the scattering of his ashes on Morecambe beach, where he often enjoyed a summer break.

"We would appeal to anyone who might know the whereabouts of Dennis’s ashes, or happen upon, them to return them to us so that we can scatter them peacefully for Dennis."

Anybody with information can contact Mark on [email protected] or 07795 611475.