Thieves take treasured jewelry from mausoleum

Posted at 10:57 PM, Apr 14, 2016

Hinckley Police are investigating after a deceased woman’s jewelry was stolen from inside a cemetery mausoleum.

It happened at the Hope Memorial Gardens Cemetery off of Center Rd. in Hinckley, discovered during a funeral service inside the mausoleum on Saturday.

For Kelley Neal, it’s unthinkable grief once again.

“Who would do this? Who would do such a nasty thing? Such a horrific thing?” Neal asked tearfully.

It was her mother Victoria Neal’s locket and treasured registered nurse pin that were stolen from inside her niche in the mausoleum after thieves busted out the glass. The locket had been carefully draped over her urn.

“It feels like my mom’s died all over again,” Neal said. She lost her mother to cancer in 2014 and has struggled with the heartache ever since.

Inside that locket was a lock of her brother’s hair, who passed away in 2002. His urn sits next to her mother’s in the niche. 

“It was a very sentimental necklace my mother wore for years when my brother passed away,” Neal said. “It just feels like they violated my mother and my brother’s resting place.”

Now, Neal is just begging for thieves to return the irreplaceable locket.

Hinckley Police said it’s not the first time the cemetery has been targeted by thieves. In the last year, there have been several reports of brass vases stolen from atop gravestones as well.

The mausoleum is now locked after hours and a sign is posted asking anyone who notices missing items to contact the office.