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Thief takes ashes, mementos of deceased in graveside burglary

By Sandra Yi | Posted - Mar 18th, 2013 @ 6:39pm


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WEST VALLEY CITY — Heartache is not something unfamiliar to Sharon Armijo. She lost her husband to a heart attack in 2007. Last year, her teen son Jacob Armijo and his friend died in a car accident on their way to school.

There were a few things that have sometimes provided some comfort after such great loss: a necklace with an image of her husband and son on it and a vial with some of the ashes of Avery Bock, the friend who died alongside Jacob in the crash.

"(Bock's) mom gave me a little vial of ashes on a necklace, and I always just kept them in my purse," she said.

While she still has the necklace, Bock's ashes are gone now. They were stolen Saturday when Armijo's purse was taken from her car while she was visiting the graves of her son and husband.

Armijo visits the graves every day.

"I bless them, tell them I love them, and tell them I miss them," she said.

Life was cut short for 16-year-old Jacob, who was killed along with Avery a year ago. Jacob lost control of the vehicle, and then slammed head-on into an oncoming vehicle at 4100 South and 5600 West in West Valley City.

Two others were injured in the crash, but they eventually recovered.

At the cemetery Saturday, Armijo's left her purse in her car. As she spent time at the graves, her back was to her car, which was parked 35 yards away. She returned to the vehicle to find the driver's side door was slightly ajar.


"These are things I can never replace. I can't and I'm just sick."

Immediately, Armijo realized her purse was gone, along with precious mementos of her son and husband, like driver licenses and army pictures.

"These are things I can never replace," she said. "I can't, and I'm just sick."

The thief took more mundane, but important things too, including cash with which Armijo was planning to buy flowers for her husband's grave. His birthday is on Wednesday.

She also lost credit cards, and she said someone used them to go on a shopping spree at several stores.

Armijo has filed a report with the West Valley City Police Department. She said this was the one time she didn't lock her car door, and she learned a lesson she'll never forget.

Regardless, she is begging for the return of her things.

"Please, the person who took this, just bring my purse back," she said.

If you have any information on the theft, contact West Valley police at 801-840-4000.

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