Husband's remains stolen from Mesa woman's home according to police

MESA, AZ - Authorities are investigating after burglars stole several items from a Mesa woman's home, including her beloved husband's remains.

Mesa police spokesman Tony Landato said the burglary happened on December 15, 2013.

Landato said a realtor was showing the home to prospective buyers when she noticed several items missing.

The realtor told officers she knew the items had been taken in the last 24 hours because she showed the home the day before.

Police contacted the homeowner, Shirely Burke, who was out of town and asked her for inventory of the home's contents. 

"Everything that I owned was either smashed or broken or taken," she said. Burke told officers the home was almost completely cleaned out.

"I felt violated, I felt sick to my stomach," said Burke. "I didn't know what to do, I didn't know whether to cry or break down totally or scream, or yell, I didn't know what to do."

Police said in addition to two television sets, a washer and dryer and three handguns, the burglars also took a wooden box containing the Burke's husband's remains. She told police her belated husband was a Korean War Veteran and retired Maryland police officer.

"That is just an unhuman thing to do, you just don't do something like that," said Burke. "I would've thought they would've picked it up and just recognized what it was or just opened it up, it just had a flip top on it, and just have put it back on the shelf."

Authorities are looking for a suspect and vehicle that were seen parked out front the victim's residence the day before the burglary.

The suspect is described as a white male, 25-35 years old with a shaved head, 5 feet 9 inches tall, 190 pounds with possible "prison style" tattoos on his arms.

His vehicle is described as an early 2000's white Chevy pickup, standard cab, short bed and slightly lowered.

If you have any information regarding this crime, you are asked to contact the Mesa Police Department at 480-862-5485.

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