'Thieves broke into my home and stole my baby son's ashes.'

Siobhan Gracely had already endured a loss few could understand. In September 2016, her baby boy, Julien, had died at just 11 weeks old.

Then this week, another heartbreak.

While the Texan woman and her husband, AJ, were away for a half-marathon in San Antonio, a roughly three-hour drive away, thieves broke into their Houston home and fled with jewellery and a small ceramic box.

Inside that box, which is topped with a picture of a teddy bear, are Julien’s ashes.

“His life has already been tragically taken away from him,” Siobhan told Dallas News. “And then to have his ashes stolen as well. It’s just the most heart-wrenching situation.”

The stolen box. Image: Facebook.

In a Facebook post, Siobhan's sister, Caroline Kalil Baizan, wrote that the thieves had smashed through the backdoor of the couples' rented home, and left designer handbags, electronics and an Amazon delivery on the porch untouched.

"I am certain they thought the box containing the ashes was used to store jewellery," she wrote.

"When they do unscrew the cube, they will throw the box along with [Julien]’s ashes away."

In an appeal via a friend's Facebook page, Siobhan pleaded for the safe return of the precious box.

"We are heartbroken. We know our baby is in heaven but want his ashes back," she wrote.

"Crime Stoppers are involved as well. But spread the word...maybe just maybe someone will have the heart to return them to us."

In October, an Australian couple went through a similar ordeal. A silver box containing the ashes of Donna and Nigel Tweed's twin daughters, who died at birth 13 years earlier, were stolen during a burglary of their Gold Coast home.

After desperate appeals via local media, the box was discovered on the roof of local tradesman's ute just a few streets away from their home. It was handed in to police and returned to the family less than 24 hours later.

"My reaction was, have you found my baby girls and the police lady said yes,” Donna told myGC at the time.

“I was overjoyed – I was so happy … you have just completed us again so I am really grateful, thank you.”

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