GRIEVING Abby Rowan was left heartbroken when she discovered cherished teddy bears, blankets, bottles and dummies had been stolen from the grave of her twins who were stillborn.
Abby Rowan, aged 21, gave birth to Waide and Jobie Fairhurst in May when she was five months’ pregnant and they were too weak to survive.
And, on what would have been her first Mothers’ Day with the boys if they had lived, Abby went to their graveside to remember them.
But she was left horrified when she discovered their belongings had been stolen.
Abby and her partner Waide Fairhurst, who formerly played for Doncaster Rovers, had clear perspex keepsake boxes made for the shared grave, where they placed a teddy bear for each twin, their dummies, bottles and blankets. One said ‘I love mummy’ and the other ‘I love daddy’.
The grieving couple have reported the theft to South Yorkshire Police and Sheffield Council and a family reward is available for information leading to the safe return of the boxes.
They are believed to have been taken from City Road Cemetery on Saturday night or Sunday morning.
Abby, of Harborough Close, Manor Park, Sheffield, said she is devastated at the theft.
She said: “The boxes were specially made and had the names of the twins and their date of birth.”
There was a teddy bear in each and a bottle, dummy and blanket, with the other half of the sets buried with the twins.
“They were there on Saturday when my nannan visited but when we went on Sunday they were gone – I couldn’t believe it.
“I was so shocked that somebody would stoop so low as to steal from the grave of children. It’s disgusting.
“I try to go to the cemetery every day if I can but Sunday was special because it would have been my first Mothers’ Day if they had lived.
“The boxes and contents would be worthless to anyone else but to us they are priceless and I just hope that if anyone knows where they are that they bring them back.”
Abby’s family has searched the cemetery, looking in bushes in case the boxes had been thrown away, but they are nowhere to be found.
Sue Nadin, Sheffield Council’s bereavement services manager, said: “We were very sorry to hear about this theft from one of the graves at City Road Cemetery.
“City Road is a 100-acre public space that is open to all visitors throughout the daylight hours.
We do have lodge tenants in both lodges at either end of the cemetery and their role is to ensure that the gates are open and closed within specified times, but they are not required to patrol the cemetery. We do try and warn visitors not to place anything of personal value on graves and it is entirely at their discretion whether they take notice of such warnings.
“Visitors do not expect anything to be removed from the graves, but unfortunately, this is not always the case and it is a sad reflection on our society that these items are often removed without any thought of the families and friends who placed them there.”
n Anyone with information should call police on 101.