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Family Begs for Return of Son's Ashes After Having U-Haul Stolen

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Ben and Kassandra Benton are parents to three children: Wyatt, Charlotte and Amelia. They lost Wyatt just months after he was born in 2015, but they’ve kept an urn with his ashes in a special place in their home to honor his life.

Wyatt was a bit of a miracle. Kassandra had undergone cancer treatment that she thought would bar her from becoming a mother — but it didn’t.

She went to a hospital and found out that she was expecting.

“I went to the hospital not feeling well and found out I was pregnant,” she told “Today.” “It was crazy.”

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“I ended up having him early at 24 weeks at home. My husband delivered him. I ended up hemorrhaging and he wasn’t breathing on his own.

“He fought for his life in the NICU for five months until he got a brain infection. We ended up taking him to hospice where he passed away.”

Wyatt, gone but not forgotten, remained an important part of their lives.

On March 2, the family was moving to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. They packed all their Earthly possessions into a U-Haul and hit the road.

According to a post by Kassandra, the going was rough. She felt poorly, the kids were cranky and they made their stop for the night at the La Quinta Inn in Covington, Georgia.

But their trip was about to go from bad to worse. Ben realized what had happened first.

“I went outside around 7 or 8 that morning and was on the phone with one of my good buddies,” Ben said. “I looked up and was like ‘the U-Haul — where is it? Oh my god, the U-Haul is gone.'”

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“It didn’t hit me that our stuff was gone, it hit me that our son’s ashes were in there,” Kassandra added. “That was the first thing I realized — Wyatt was gone.”

It wasn’t just his ashes, either — all the little reminders of his precious life had been snatched from them.

“His handprints that we had were in there, his footprints,” Kassandra continued. “We had a molding of his hand. We had just everything you could get from a baby that you’re losing to have memories of him that you can keep. It was all in there.”

Thursday morning, the family got a glimmer of good news. Their U-Haul had been located about 30 minutes away.

“Ben woke me up this morning with the news our U-HAUL was found and my heart jumped with excitement,” Kassandra posted. “I knew our stuff would be gone, but that’s not what I cared about.

“All I kept asking is when will we know? When can we go look for ourselves? When do we FaceTime to see… and then the devastation hit again.

“Wyatt wasn’t left in the truck. He’s still out there. Someone, somewhere has him. And I beg you, return him. Find a gas station, a Walmart, a Chick-fil-A, I don’t care, just not a garbage can.”

Still no word on the whereabouts of the U-Haul’s precious cargo, but the further the story reaches, the more likely someone will see something and say something.

“We have been abundantly blessed by the help of complete strangers who are all a part of our family now,” Kassandra continued in her post.

“Everyone who is helping us, and will help us, and is offering WE THANK YOU. And we thank EVERYONE who is sharing our story and getting the word out so that Wyatt is found and back where he’s suppose to be.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking