Remorseful Thief Returns Teen’s Ashes To Family After Stealing Bags Out Of Their Rental Car

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A teenager’s ashes have been returned to the family after a thief stole multiple bags from the family’s rental car and took the teen’s urn by mistake.

The Bednarz family, having lived in Sweden for more than a decade, were vacationing on the island of Cyprus. While on their vacation, they rented a car and kept some of their bags in their car while touring.

When they returned to their car, the family discovered the passenger window was broken and three of their bags were missing, which included their teenage son’s urn, who had passed away several months prior.

The family had intended, while visiting the island together, to spread their son’s ashes along the coast.

Mother of the teen, Kinga Bednarz, reached out to the local media in Cyprus, asking for information about her son’s urn’s whereabouts.

Hearing about the stolen urn on the news, the thief realized what they had accidentally taken.

Bednarz reported that she received an anonymous call from the thief, apologizing after stealing three bags out of the family’s rental car. Bednarz also shared that the thief emphatically told her that they never meant to hurt the family.

During the phone call, the thief shared where Bednarz would be able to find the urn. Bednarz then shared the information she’d received with the Cypriot police, who then searched for and recovered the urn for the family.

It’s unclear if the thief returned, or intends to return, any of the family’s other stolen items.

Because of the time lost on the vacation, the family had to return to Sweden before spreading the teen’s ashes. Bednarz shared that she and her husband may return to Cyprus, but they’re unsure if they will continue with their plan to spread their son’s ashes, now that the entire family won’t be able to be present for the event.

Some have shared their thoughts on Twitter, a mixture of grief for the family and wonderment for how someone could make such a ridiculous mistake as stealing an urn.


Everyone seems to be in agreement, however, that the thief at least did the right thing in returning the urn to the family.

Though it’s unclear if the family will recover any of the rest of their possessions, it’s at least a positive gesture that their family member’s ashes were returned.

McKenzie Lynn Tozan

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit