Grieving Ontario Parents Attempt to Locate Stolen Box of Son’s Keepsakes

A family who recently lost their infant son in a tragic car accident is asking for the publics help to find a memory box full of the childs keepsakes, which was stolen from their vehicle from a hotel parking lot only a week after the accident.

The Clinton, Ont. couple was involved in a two-vehicle accident on Sept. 14 in Wingham, which killed their newborn son and critically injured the mother, Marsha Benninger. After the crash, Benninger's husband parked the family's car at Wellington Road Hotel. At some point between the hours of 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21 and 8 a.m. the following morning, the car was broken into.

...It is devastating to [my daughter Marsha] and to all of us. We just want the keepsakes back. It'll be closure for Marsha and she can get that closure just by touching the stuff...Pauline Benninger

The thieves stole a number of items, but the most heart-wrenching loss for the family by far is that of an oak box, approximately 16 inches by 12 inches, which held a lock of their sons hair; a clay mold of his footprints; a babys yellow knit hat; a CD of photos; and a card with the boys name, date of birth and death on it.

The family is asking anyone with knowledge of the box's whereabouts to contact authorities, or for the person who took it make an anonymous call to police so the family can retrieve it, with no explanation necessary.

The boys grandmother, Pauline Benninger, says that it is a senseless act that she hopes can be reversed by the kindness of good people. It is devastating to [my daughter Marsha] and to all of us. We just want the keepsakes back. It'll be closure for Marsha and she can get that closure just by touching the stuff, Benninger said.

London police are seeking witnesses and information related to the location of the box or its contents. The department is asking that anyone with information contact the authorities to turn them in. The box itself is priceless to the family, London Police Const. Ken Steeves said.

If you have any knowledge of the box's location, London Police Service can be reached at 519-661-5670.