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Teens arrested after stealing cremated remains thinking it was cocaine

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Posted at 8:38 AM, Mar 10, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-10 10:43:46-04

ST. PETERS, Mo. – Three teens are in custody after stealing a number of items including a urn of ashes they thought was cocaine.

Debora Matthews says she was stunned when realized her house had been burglarized.

What made the crime even harder to take was an item the thieves targeted.

“I just couldn’t believe that they would take the ashes,” Matthews told KMOV. “But, you know, they were kids and, I guess, just stupid.”

Matthews says 17-year-old Devin Gesell and two minors stole several items, including her father’s ashes. 

“I’m very upset because two of the minors were his grandsons,” she said. “So, you know, they did that to their grandfather and didn’t even realize it was their grandfather’s ashes.”

Matthews believes the teens found the ashes in an urn and thought it was cocaine.

After tasting the ashes, the burglars realized what they had stolen.

Instead of bringing it back, they decided to toss out the remains.

“They were scattered out as they were driving down the highway, so we’re never going to be able to recover them,” she said.

Police arrested the three teenagers and Gesell is now facing burglary and theft charges.

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