BELLEVILLE, Ill. ( -- A Metro East man is pleading for help Monday after thieves broke into his SUV and stole his mom's ashes.

Joe Buckingham's mom, Sandra, died in 2018 from lung cancer. She was just 63-years-old. 

“My mom wanted to travel before she got sick," said Buckingham. 

Buckingham's fiance, Tarra Mason, bought him a silver necklace with the word 'mom' on it. She bought a similar necklace for Buckingham's sisters and all the grandchildren. The funeral home put his mom's ashes inside each necklace.

“We hung her from my rear view mirror because I drive a lot," said Mason. “She was an awesome lady and everybody loved her."

The Belleville couple said having his mom's ashes on the rear view mirror would allow her to see the world with them. 

Thieves broke into their SUV overnight Saturday. 

“My vehicle was locked, nothing went off, no alarms went off, I don’t know how they got in," said Mason. “They took money, they took a key to my daughter’s car, they took a key to my Jeep, took his mom’s ashes.”

The couple said they only really care about the urn. 

“I think they just seen a silver necklace hanging and so they took it. I don’t think they realized what they took," said Mason. 

They are offering a $100 reward for the urn.

“No questions asked. If you got it, turn it over to police, drop it in a mailbox," said Mason. 

They filed a report with police and plan to post flyers with pictures of the necklace around the neighborhood Tuesday. 

Copyright 2020 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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