Two Oakville, Ont., women are pleading for the public’s help after their mother’s ashes were stolen.
The sisters were in Montreal for a long-awaited burial, but just hours before, their car was stolen and the ashes with it.
“It’s heartbreaking. It really is,” said Carole Daoust, daughter of the late Winifred Aziz, who was visiting Montreal earlier this week with her sister Cathy to bury their mother. “Never did we dream that the outcome would be like this.”
“Winnie,” as their mother was known to many, moved to Montreal in the early 50s from Nova Scotia.
She met her husband John Aziz, the love of her life.
“We lost my father in 1984, and in 1987 she moved to Toronto, to Oakville, to be near my sister and I,” Carole Daoust explained.
There was never any question. When her time came, Winnie would be buried next to John at Montreal’s Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery.
“My mother never remarried. She never thought of it, never went with anybody after. It was just a love story,” Daoust told Global News.
Her mother passed away in 2021 at 92 years old, and was cremated.
COVID-19 and a labour conflict at the cemetery prevented the daughters from arranging their mother’s burial until this past Wednesday.
This week, they drove to Montreal ready to honour her wishes. She wanted to be buried with a stack of love letters from John, and a piece of her wedding bouquet she’d kept for 70 years.
The daughters parked their 2020 silver Toyota RAV4 outside their hotel in Pointe-Claire, Qc. thinking nothing of leaving the urn in the trunk overnight.
In the morning, the vehicle was gone.
“I was just like, oh my god, mom’s ashes are in there,” Daoust recalled.
She says police told her car thefts are common in the area, but the sisters don’t care about the car. They’re pleading with the thieves to return the ashes.
“Put it somewhere that someone would see it so we can get my mother’s remains back and and give her the dignity of a proper burial,” said Carole.
The sisters were told the vehicle might remain in the area for up to a week, possibly parked on a side street, before being sent to the port.
“Just keep an eye out for a silver RAV with Ontario license plates,” said Richard Daoust, Carole’s husband.
Montreal police confirm to Global News an investigation is underway saying they hope bringing publicity to the story helps the sisters get their mother’s ashes back.