The gate to the backyard stood ajar. Her automatic garage door opener didn't work. And there was a black tire mark on her front porch.
She soon realized her concern was justified. Someone ransacked her home, stealing antiques, jewelry, electronics and, to her horror, the urn holding her mother's ashes.
Reed desperately wants the urn back so she can fulfill the long-standing wishes of her parents.
"I was holding on to them because they wanted to have their ashes sprinkled together in a special place," Reed said.
Her mother, Joyce Case, was 84 when she died in January 2009. Her father is alive.
For Reed, the hardest part about the crime was breaking the news to her siblings.
All of them want to respect their parents' wishes -- to mingle their ashes and spread them in a bay near Gig Harbor. The spot with a view of Mount Rainier is not far from the home where the couple chose to raise their children.
The burglary was committed Friday in the 5800 block of 77th Avenue NE while Reed was at her job as technology director of the Marysville School District. Police officers and detectives took a report that night and, she said, offered her moral support.
Whoever committed the burglary at Reed's home stole other sentimental belongings, including her great aunt's diamond rings and watch, Reed's jewelry and a brass compass from the late 1800s that once belonged to her grandfather, a tugboat captain.
Her computer, tools, camera and SCUBA diving equipment also were taken.
It got even worse.
Reed made a cup of hot chocolate to comfort herself after the burglary and went to fetch some whipped cream from her refrigerator.
It, too, was missing.
"That was so bizarre," she said. "Why would you take two cans of whipped cream?"
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, firstname.lastname@example.org
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