ABC7 helps police return stolen ashes, found in Hayward, to woman in San Leandro

HAYWARD, Calif. (KGO) -- Leonard Dumawa made an odd discovery under a small tree in the front yard of his Hayward home last week.

"Like a box and a plastic bag," Dumawa said.

"A bag full of ashes and the name tag was in there," Dumawa's neighbor said.

RELATED: Stolen ashes reunited with family visiting San Francisco

Dumawa and his wife called Hayward police, but the investigation into who the ashes belonged to seemed to be going nowhere.

"We were kind of striking out until we kept looking on the internet and found a news story from ABC7, and it was a woman talking about a burglary to her storage shed," Sergeant Tasha Decosta said.

The dots began to connect.

ABC7 News introduced viewers to a devastated Joyce Robertson in September. Her father and grandmother's ashes had been stolen from her San Leandro storage unit.

"What channel 7 had reported was that there was these musical notes on the box," Sergeant Decosta said. "Engraved on the box and along with the names those things matched up."

Sergeant Decosta finally tracked Robertson down Saturday morning.

"I told her please just text me the address of the police station," Robertson said.

Robertson couldn't believe the ashes had been recovered. She'd been calling the San Leandro Police Department once a week to see if they had anything.

"I'm just happy. I've been praying every night," Robertson said.

The only thing Robertson can say now is thank you to everyone who helped. "I would like to thank them so much I've really been stressing over this," Robertson said.
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