West Shore family pleads for urn’s return

The remains of a loving father and grandfather was one of the items stolen during a home invasion in View Royal, July 8

July 10

July 10

A View Royal family is struggling with losing a family member twice.

The remains of a loving father and grandfather was one of the items stolen during a home invasion, July 8.

“We came home from camping,” said Tiffany Duke. “And my dad was gone.”

Initially, a safe and $10,000 worth of jewelry were reported to West Shore RCMP as stolen. It wasn’t until after the RCMP left the scene that the family realized the sealed urn, containing the remains of Blaine Matthews, was missing. It was the only item taken from the family’s living room.

“I can’t sit in the living room anymore, we don’t sleep at night,” Duke said, wiping her tears. “I don’t want (the thieves) to destroy it. It just makes no sense, please just bring it back.”

Duke is asking for anyone with the urn to return it to her home or the West Shore RCMP detachment.

“He was a wonderful man and, to have him go, it’s not fair to do to anyone. It feels like having him die all over again,” Duke said, crying as she recalled her father’s death two years ago. “It’s hard to talk about. Jewelry and other items, those are replaceable, but this isn’t. He was the best dad, the best papa.”

Duke and her husband Michel Deschenes are already working at stepping up security in their home by adding an alarm system and cameras. They also advise others to leave valuables with friends or family when going out of town.

The home was broken into through the locked front door, between midnight and 8 a.m., Sunday.  The urn has no monetary value. Most of the items stolen from the home were taken from the master bedroom.

“Thieves always go in the master bedroom (during a break and enter),” said Sgt. Max Fossum, of West Shore RCMP. “If you have a portable safe don’t put it in the master bedroom.

charla@goldstreamgazette.com