A Bridgeport, Connecticut, woman appeared in court for her arraignment after being accused of stealing an urn containing her dead son's ashes. The 21-year-old woman and the boy's father allegedly took the ashes from the Luz de Paz funeral home. Authorities say the theft was captured on surveillance video. The 8-month-old child reportedly died in Puerto Rico but was transported to Connecticut for cremation.
An unidentified spokesperson for the funeral home told reporters that he had forgiven the $800 the couple owed the funeral home, but was bound by state health regulation to alert police of the alleged theft. He said that the child's parents did not speak with anyone before taking the urn.
The 21-year-old woman was reportedly located after being arrested at the Mohegan Sun Casino for an unrelated incident. The boy's father was also arrested but was released on a $500 bond, according to court records. It was unclear whether the woman had posted bond or was still in custody. Both parents are set to appear in court in August.
The death of a loved one is an especially emotional event, and it is common for people not to be thinking clearly during this time of grief. When allegations of a crime center around a heightened emotional state, be it from a death in the family, a divorce or some other catastrophic life event, it is crucial that defendants are forthcoming with their legal representatives. By understanding all of the facts and circumstances surrounding an incident, criminal defense attorneys can better present their client's case and perhaps help mitigate the punishment.
Source: News 12 Connecticut, "Raisa Gonzales appears in court in Bridgeport stolen urn case" Jul. 23, 2014