Bill Handel

Bill Handel

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Parents Ashes in Garden Decor Stolen off Daughter's Lawn


Gail Hines has had decorative “gazing balls” displayed in her front yard for nearly ten years, and never had someone tried to steal any of them. When Gail’s parents passed away from COVID-related illness, she didn’t hesitate to have their ashes put into custom-made gazing balls to add to her collection.

All having been caught on a Ring camera, a thief stole the gazing balls overnight. “I look over at my gazing ball garden, and it just seemed to be a little bit light,” shared Gail. “Mom and Dad are gone.”

Mom and Dad’s gazing balls were customized to reflect the personalities and lives of Gail’s parents; Her father loved to be outside.

Amazon recently added gazing balls to their selection, and they run anywhere from $25 to $60. But Gail notes that’s just the bare minimum cost. By the time you buy the balls, sand and the stands, they can be anywhere from $100 to $150. But a gazing ball with a family member’s ashes inside? That’s priceless.

Lacking confidence in the police’s ability to track down the thief, Gail did not report the incident. She is, however, asking for anyone that might see them to reach out. An email exclusively for tips has been set up on her behalf.

The thief is believed to be driving an older, silver, sedan-style vehicle. Gail lives near Menchaca and Ben White. She hopes the thief will see this story and bring back the gazing balls they took.

“There was no way for him to know that my two parents were in those gazing balls,” said Gail. “Please just bring back my parents.”


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