An Alabama Vietnam War veteran says a burglar broke into his Citronelle home and smoked the ashes of his dead wife.
Phillip McMullen was out of town last week. When he returned, he found his home in disarray and his wife’s ashes thrown under a toolbox.
“[The burglar] ransacked my house, tried to break in my gun safe, which they weren’t able to. They even took my wife’s ashes off my headboard, strewed them around, looked like they tried to smoke some of them or something,” McMullen told WALA-TV. “I guess they figured out this stuff ain’t worth smoking, so they threw it up underneath one of my toolboxes.”
The burglar entered his home through a broken window and stole 15 items, including a chainsaw, generator, fishing rods and reels, according to the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office.
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The ashes of his wife of 22 years were inside a plastic bag in a plastic box rather than a metal urn. They were marked with a metal tag that said “Mississippi Crematorium.”
The burglar allegedly smoked some of the ashes out of a homemade pipe.
“Tried it out to see if it was some kind of drugs, and I bet that was a nasty taste when they [did] that though,” McMullen said.
“I was furious. That’s when I almost lost it. That’s what made me want to kill again,” he added.
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McMullen hopes the burglar can be caught and brought to justice.
“It’s hard to put in words, it makes me want to fight again, and I don’t like to fight,” he said. “I don’t know if God will forgive them for what they’ve done or not.”
“If someone did something like this, that’s just horrible,” said Lori Myles, with the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office. "... If we do prove that he has tampered with this urn, there will be additional charges, such as desecration of a grave.”
An investigation into the burglary is ongoing.
Image screenshot: WALA-TV