Couple pleads for return of daughter's ashes after home burglarized

Kelsey Mercer
Kelsey Mercer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A couple is desperate to get their teenage daughter’s ashes back after thieves broke into their Argyle Forest home Friday and took an urn containing them, a family friend said.

Kelsey Mercer died unexpectedly in 2010.

Detectives at the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office headquarters have very little to go on when it comes to detailed suspect descriptions.

Witnesses describe the two thieves as slender-looking black men who were wearing all-black clothing. They were last spotted driving away in a gold Ford Fusion.

The couple was so distraught over their home being burglarized, they had to rely on close friend Jehizy Fountain to be their spokesperson. She said two thieves entered the home late Friday morning after the couple left for work.

The family friend said Marina Mercer got a call at work letting her know something didn’t look right at home.

“So she came back and found the door was open," Fountain said. "They kicked the door. The door is damaged.”

Marina Mercer discovered jewelry, electronics and a car key had been stolen. Then, she realized the urn containing the ashes of her daughter also was taken.

Kelsey was an only child who died eight years ago. She was two weeks shy of turning 15 when she passed away. Kelsey’s ashes were the one thing in the house that her parents valued more than anything.

“It’s been extremely difficult because this is the second time their house was broken into, but this time they took something irreplaceable,” Fountain said.

She said her friends desperately wants the urn with ashes returned, so they are offering a reward. They are even going as far to say there will be no questions asked as long as the urn and ashes are safely returned.

“We don’t want to know how you got it, who gave it to you, when you got it -- we’re just going to confirm that it’s the right one and the funds will be given to whomever turns it in,” Mercer said.

Anyone with information about the crime are asked to call JSO.

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