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19-year-old's ashes stolen along with tooth fairy money | News

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19-year-old's ashes stolen along with tooth fairy money

Bradenton, Florida - A Bradenton family still reeling from the loss of their loved one has decided to offer a $500 reward for the return of their loved one's ashes. 

19-year-old Nikolas Reek, a Manatee High School graduate, was killed in December of 2008 when an impaired driver pulled out in front of his motorcycle.

But earlier this month, his family came face to face again with the loss after someone pried open a window in the family's home and went straight for their safe which is where his ashes were stored.

Lori Reek says, "I just don't want him left on the side of the road or in the dumpster somewhere. He needs to be home."

She's posted a bright neon green poster in front of her home that reads, "Bring Nik Home!"

Lori says it's tragic enough that her 19-year-old son's life was cut short, but the theft of his ashes makes the loss even harder to accept. She says her husband, who is in the Army and is stationed at Camp Blanding, had planned to go skydiving to release the ashes.

She says it's one of the things Nik wanted to do with his father and never got the chance to.

Lori adds, "I don't think they realized that Nikolas was in the safe." That's because Nik's ashes weren't in a traditional urn.

"It was in a tin can that had his name labeled on it."

And Reek says removing the solid steel safe had to be a challenge. "It weighed at least 50 pounds, so it wasn't something easy to hide under your shirt."

She says whoever broke in was bold because they even stole money from her 11-year-old daughter."It was in a zip lock baggie that said, 'Samantha's tooth fairy.'"

The thief or thieves swiped her daughter's iPod too, but left plenty of other valuables behind, like computers. Lori says, "We had a Wii system [and] a PlayStation hooked up to the TVs."

Reek believes she knows the person who is responsible. Lori says, "I believe it's somebody that's been in my house before."

Meanwhile, she and her daughter can hardly sleep at night. Her daughter is sleeping in her bed and they have a chair propped up against the door because they're afraid of another break in.

But what the family is most unhappy about is that Nik's ashes are still out there. "No questions asked. We're just to the point that we want to bring Nicholas home."

The family has put up a $500 reward in hopes of getting the ashes back. When you call Crime Stoppers at (866) 634-TIPS (8677), you do not have to reveal your identity and you could receive that cash reward.

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