Hilo mom hopes thieves will return her dead teen's ashes - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hilo mom hopes thieves will return her dead teen's ashes

Chris Hafford and his mom Chris Hafford and his mom
Chris Hafford Chris Hafford
Chris Hafford's ashes stolen Chris Hafford's ashes stolen
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Hilo woman is mourning the loss of her only son, again, after thieves stole his ashes in a home burglary two days before Christmas.

Valerie Hafford says her home on Keokea Loop was being tented for termites when the company said the tent was cut and crooks broke in.

"The drawers were open, dresser drawers were pulled out and on the floor," says Hafford, who noticed her jewelry, clothes, and shoes were taken. 

It wasn't until she looked on a shelf in her room that she realized the urn with her son's remains were also gone. 

"I think I just shut down and kind of went into shock," she says, "This is just opening the wound again."

The koa box was surrounded by newspaper clippings, his picture, and items from his funeral.

19-year old Chris Hafford drowned in 1994 after being swept off some rocks by a wave. He was camping and preparing to pick opihi.

His sister, Kanani Salboro, says the thieves may have thought the sealed box contained jewelry.

"I don't really think that they even know there were remains in that box, they just saw a koa box and wanted it," says Salboro, "Devastating, that was my mom's comfort, it just devastated me when I found out that, that got taken, that's all we have left of him."

The family says the thieves can keep everything else, they just want the remains back.

"Give it to someone who knows us, leave it by the door, anywhere where we can find it," says Salboro, who says her mother was so upset by the loss, she threw out the Christmas tree and became depressed.

"Losing a child is never easy," says Hafford, "Right now, I just feel like I lost him twice."

Police in Hilo are investigating the case and say they do need witnesses to come forward.  

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