Man questions faith after wife's ashes stolen

November 12, 2010 (HAMMOND, Ind.)

"I don't care about the jewelry. All I want is my wife's ashes. That's all I want," said Christopher Washington, whose home was broken into on Thursday.

The burglars took many valuables- but what they took out of his closet is unthinkable: Washington's wife passed away in April after a battle with bone cancer. The crime has Washington, a veteran, questioning his faith.

Washington's life has not been easy- but on Veterans Day it got worse. In the middle of the day, someone burglarized Washington's Hammond, Ind., home. The burglars broke the handle off the door and kicked it in, ransacked the house, and took a flat screen TV belonging to Chris' young son and jewelry that belonged to his wife.

"I put all her stuff in the basement. They took all her jewelry, my jewelry, my sons' jewelry. They took everything," said Washington.

When the burglar ripped things out of the master bedroom closet, he or she came across a small box that was taped and labeled with the name Tracy Francisco-Washington. That stolen box contains the ashes of Washington's wife, who died six months ago after a seven year battle with bone cancer.

"It's like a double whammy. I question God. Why he took her from me anyway-- but then come right behind and take her ashes? It's just hard. I question my faith in God and if there really is a God, why is man so cruel that they would do stuff like this to people? I mean we work hard to acquire the little things we do have and somebody can just come in and take what they want and don't care. I don't know what I'm gonna do," said Washington.

Police spent part of Thursday and Friday checking garbage cans in the alley behind Washington's home. What's hard to figure is how someone could break-in, make some noise doing so, walkout with a small flat screen TV and other items and not be seen.

Tracy Francisco Washington was an accomplished pianist and fluent in French and Spanish, which she taught for 15 years at St. Francis De Sales High School in Chicago. Washington doesn't care about the TV and jewelry.

"Just bring it back to me. I just want her ashes back. That's it - for me and my son- that's it," said Washington.

Washington's son is 11 years old. The two had planned on spreading Tracy's ashes in a special location. They still want to do that and hope that anyone who knows something about where those ashes are will call Hammond police at 219 853-6490.

Copyright © 2023 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.