LANCASTER, Calif. (KABC) -- A Lancaster family was left heartbroken after the ashes of a former LAPD detective were stolen from his widow's home.
Burglars broke into the widow's west Lancaster home on Thursday, stealing a safe and her most precious possession: a wooden box containing her husband's ashes.
"She's totally devastated and I can't imagine what she's going through. She just needs him back. That's her husband, (the) love of her life," said Steve LaFlower, the victim's nephew.
Dan Moran died in 2008 after retiring from the LAPD, working out of the Van Nuys station for most of his career. Relatives say he devoted much of his adult life to public service.
"Right out of high school, he joined the Army as a military police officer... When he was discharged, he joined the LAPD. He served for 43 years and retired in 2007," LaFlower added.
The family says the burglars got away with coins and other valuables but Moran's widow doesn't care about getting any of those stolen items back. She just wants her husband's ashes.
"She just wants them to have a heart and realize how important this is to her and the whole family and just return it. No questions asked."
Relatives say the loss is heartbreaking.
"It's as if we've lost him again, the grieving process has started all over again," LaFlower said.