ST. PAUL (WCCO) — A woman who lost her dad to cancer says she feels like she lost him again after a thief stole her backpack containing his ashes.

Amy Ernsberger says the incident happened after she parked outside Sweeney’s in St. Paul to meet her friend.

Before she walked inside, she placed her backpack inside her trunk. She thinks someone was watching, because when she came out, the window was broken, the seat down and her backpack gone.

“Before he had passed away, he had asked myself and my siblings to take him on adventures after he died,” Ernsberger said.

Her brothers have already taken him to South America and Africa. On Sunday, she was set to take him skydiving.

Now, she is hoping the thief has a heart and returns the only piece of her father she has left.

She says that the ashes are in a clear 6-inch cigar tube with a bumble bee on it.

St. Paul Police are cautioning the public that burglaries do go up in the summer months and drivers should take their valuables with them.

Comments (7)
  1. JamieinMN says:

    That is incredibly sad. I can’t believe these people live here amongst society! I really hope someone does the right thing and just leaves it on the steps of the police station.

  2. Lee says:

    The person who did this doesn’t read the news and if they did, they could care less about returning the ashes. People who have a heart don’t smash windows and steal things to begin with.

  3. xxx says:

    Another way to look at it is that the father wanted an adventure.
    What could be a greater adventure than being kidnapped?
    A rather off the wall to look at it, but you have to make the best of a bad situation.

  4. Sarah in Outstate MN says:

    There are people in society that only care about themselves and what they can get. They don’t care how their actions impact others. I hope your father is found again and you and he can go skydiving together and have many more adventures together. It sounds as if you and your brothers truly loved him. He was probably a great dad.

  5. Hugh Jorgan says:


    It saddens us to inform you that your father no longer has a conscious in this World, Galaxy, or Universe, any longer. He can’t tell that you’re carrying his ashes around, nor does he have any recollection of where you’ve taken them – and besides, his request to have you and your family cart him around for the rest of YOUR lives is really quite selfish on his behalf.

    Once again, our apology for having to bring this fact to you, but it would be irresponsible not to do so…

  6. long commute says:

    Are you serious Hugh Jorgan? How incredibly cold of you. Some people value their families and would anything to make wishes come true.

  7. mn mom says:

    Hugh Jorgan – This woman and her family have done nothing wrong. She did the right thing by placing something important to her in her trunk to protect it from theft (regardless of the item). Someone violated her by breaking in and stealing her backpack. That is what the story is truly about!

    People grieve in different ways, it is not up to you to decide what is the right way and what isn’t. You also have no knowledge as to what her deceased father does or doesn’t realize, and whether or not you feel it was a selfish and burdensome request does not matter. Perhaps her father thought it would help comfort them, make them feel as though part of him was still with them? I visit my mother’s grave frequently and take great pride in planting flowers and making the area as nice as it can be. Can she see that? Who knows, but it helps me with my loss and that is what matters. Clearly, having dad’s ashes, has helped this family cope.

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