ZELLWOOD, Fla. - A Florida woman said thieves broke into her home and stole money and most of her valuables, including her brother's remains. The family was planning to bury his ashes in Georgia, and she is begging whoever took her brother's ashes to return them.
"I was over in the old part having my lunch and when I got ready to leave I noticed the light on in my bedroom and I knew I didn’t leave it on," said Jimmie Sue Simms, who lives in Zellwood, which is northwest of Apopka.
She knew immediately that something was not right.
"When I turned the corner I seen my front door busted in and all my stuff gone. It just makes me shake now to think about. I was there when they were sneaking out, apparently. I mean I could have been killed. I really could have been killed," she said.
The alleged thieves broke her front door and went inside her bedroom where they took money, valuables, and a white cardboard box with her brother's ashes inside.
"They took my money and my brother. Take my money, but don’t take my brother," she said. Her brother, Danny Phillips, died five years ago and the family was prepared to take his ashes to Georgia to be buried, she said.
"The hardest thing for me when I found this out, I had to go and tell my niece Chelsea, his baby, that her daddy wasn’t here no more, and I didn’t know if we’d ever get to see him again to put him to rest," she said.
She's hoping the thieves see or read this story and will return her brother's ashes.
"Please bring my brother home. If you can’t bring me anything else, just drop him off in my yard, at my doorstep, mailbox, post office, just bring my brother home! That’s all I ask," she said.
The ashes were inside a white cardboard box.
The Orange County Sheriff's Office confirmed it was investigating the report and asked anyone with information to contact them.