Family pleads for return of late son’s ashes after their U-Haul was stolen


A military family has put out a plea begging for the return of their late 6-month-old son’s ashes.

The ashes were stolen from the parking lot of a La Quinta Inn in Covington, Georgia, along with some of the family’s other belongings.

Ben and Kassandra Benton, who were moving to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana with their two daughters, stopped at the hotel to get some rest.

When they woke up the next day, they noticed their U-Haul was missing.

“I went outside around 7 or 8 that morning and was on the phone with one of my good buddies,” Ben Benton told TODAY Parents. “I looked up and was like ‘the U-Haul - where is it? Oh my god, the U-Haul is gone.’”

Inside the U-Haul was an urn containing Wyatt’s ashes and other keepsakes from his short life.

The Benton’s called 911 and immediately filed a police report.

“It didn’t hit me that our stuff was gone, it hit me that our son’s ashes were in there,” Kassandra said. “That was the first thing I realized - Wyatt was gone.”

"I'm mourning as if I just lost him," Kassandra explained to the outlet.

Kassandra explained that Wyatt’s birth in 2015 was a miracle as she didn’t think she could have children due to radiation and chemotherapy for cancer.

“I went to the hospital not feeling well and found out I was pregnant. It was crazy," she recalled.

Things took a turn for the worse when she delivered prematurely at 24 weeks. “My husband delivered him. I ended up hemorrhaging and he wasn’t breathing on his own. He fought for his life in the NICU for five months until he got a brain infection. We ended up taking him to hospice where he passed away," she said.

Aside from the ashes, the items included hand and foot moldings.

“We had just everything you could get from a baby that you’re losing to have memories of him that you can keep. It was all in there,” she told the publication.

While the U-Haul was located roughly 30 minutes from the hotel on Thursday, it was emptied out.

“They went through everything and what they didn’t want. When I say 'what they didn’t want,' — it was a couple black bags with clothes in them,” she said.

A reward is being offered by Covington Police for any information in the case. Friends at the base have also started a GoFundMe to support the family during this tough time.

“I just beg whoever took him to have a heart. Imagine it being their own kid or family member that they love and think about how they would feel. Please just return him. We don’t even care if they drop him somewhere that someone would recognize and let us have him back. It feels like we are losing him all over again,” Kassandra said.

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