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Posted: May 18, 2011 2:19 p.m.

Stolen ashes found

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UPDATE: James Dailey will get the ashes back of his deceased wife.

The ashes were stolen on Sunday when burglars broke into his home in Newborn. The container, which looked like a jewelry safe was taken from his bedroom dresser.

The container was found today at the Newton County landfill. It had been opened but the ashes were intact.

"It's all broken up, but that's OK, too," Dailey said.

ORIGINAL STORY: James and Jeaniece Dailey were soulmates.

The Newborn residents were together 60 years before leukemia claimed her three and a half years ago.

He kept her ashes in an ornate container on the bedroom dresser.

It kept them close.

Sunday, the container was stolen.

A thief or thieves broke into his home rummaged through the drawers, snatched the guns and some jewelry and took the ashes, too.

Maybe it was because they thought it was a jewelry safe. Maybe it was out of meanness, but whatever the reason, Jeaniece's remains are gone.

"God didn't take her, a stranger did," said their daughter, Lawrenceville resident Susan McWaters.

Dailey and his family are distraught and want the remains back, no questions asked.

"Just drop her somewhere, make a phone call, stay anonymous, call the sheriff's office in Jasper County, take the guns and jewelry and go on their way," he said.

James had just walked in the door from a model airplane club event on Sunday when he noticed that the drawers were all pulled out in the living room. He began a look around and found the home ransacked. The back door was open and things were out of place.

He called Jasper County Sheriff's Department deputies to report the burglary.

"In going through the process of trying to list stuff, I noticed that my wife's remains were gone. After that, I didn't care. I didn't care what was gone or nothing."

An angel figurine was removed from atop the box to get to it.

The figurine is on the dresser, as is a memento of their 60th wedding anniversary and a photo of the Daileys as newlyweds. Jeaniece's glasses and cigarette lighter are kept in a place of honor in the living room.

They had lived in Norcross before moving to Newborn, to get away from everything, to enjoy a bit of the peace and quiet of the country life.

Jeaniece loved it.

But then she got sick and didn't get better.

She was diagnosed with leukemia.

James' world came crashing down.

They gave her six to eight months to live, but 29 days later, she was gone.

"She died October 29, ‘07, and this is October 29 '07 all over again."

He's realistic, and doesn't know if the remains will be returned, but he and the family are hopeful.

And they're understandably angry, too.

They say they will haunt and hunt for the thieves

This was their lives, their memories. It was the ultimate violation.

They're getting the word out, in print, through television and on Facebook, too.

But ultimately, all they really want is not revenge, but to get back the remains.

"They took the most important jewel in our family," McWaters said.

"They had no right to invade our lives."

 

 

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