Woman's ashes stolen in Larkfield burglary

Ryan Downing doesn't care about the new drum set thieves stole from his garage early Friday morning.

Nor is he worried about recovering the tools and remote controlled car they swiped after cutting the padlock on the garage door.

But the Larkfield resident would like his sister back.

The thieves made off with a gray pine box that contained the ashes of his sister, Karen Wagners, who died in 1997.

"I know they didn't know what they stole," Downing said. "I just want my sister back."

He didn't have her for very long. Just the day before, Downing, who is disabled, brought the box to his apartment off Airport Boulevard from his mother's house in Sebastopol after she moved and couldn't take it with her, he said.

The family reported the theft to sheriff's officials, who told them not to get their hopes up about recovering the items, Downing said.

But he's hoping someone will realize what they did, do the right thing and return his sister to him, he said.

"The odds are against it, but you never know," he said.

Anyone with information about the theft is encouraged to call the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department at 565-2650.

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