"It's a Miracle": Gardener Finds Family's Stolen Urn With Grandmother's Ashes

The remains of Lois Larocca were found by a gardener the same day they were taken.

By Kyler Jae
|  Friday, Oct 4, 2013  |  Updated 6:25 AM PDT
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Two days after the ashes of a Southern California grandmother were stolen from a relative's van, the cherished urn was found at a local police department. Family members describe their elation after learning the ashes and urn were recovered. Raw video from Thursday Oct. 3, 2013.

Edwin Calderon

Two days after the ashes of a Southern California grandmother were stolen from a relative's van, the cherished urn was found at a local police department. Family members describe their elation after learning the ashes and urn were recovered. Raw video from Thursday Oct. 3, 2013.

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Ashes Stolen

A car was stolen from a La Mirada parking lot, in the back seat were the ashes of Mary McLellan.
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Two days after the ashes of a Southern California grandmother were stolen from a relative’s van, the cherished urn was found at a local police department.

A gardener found the urn containing Lois LaRocca’s remains the same day it was reported missing and turned it in to a Burbank police station, authorities said. The urn had scuff marks, but family members said they are grateful to have it back.

"It just makes me feel good that there is justice," said stepdaughter Lily LaRocca. "I'm very thankful the gentleman turned her in to the Burbank Police Department."

The urn stayed in the hands of Burbank police until a police spokeswoman saw the story on NBC4’s Today in LA and did some detective work, according to Burbank police Sgt. Darin Ryburn.

The late LaRocca’s family was shocked to learn their matriarch’s remains were with police.

“We’re ecstatic,” Steve Legino, Lois’ son-in-law, told NBC4. “It was four days of craziness.”

“It’s just a miracle,” a granddaughter said.

The thieves also made off with jewelry and a purse, but the family said none of that matters.

Legino said everyone is just happy that “grandma’s home.”

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