A mother has issued an emotional appeal to the burglars who stole her baby’s ashes during a break-in on Valentine's Day.
Alyssa Ruiz was devastated when thieves ransacked her home, taking items such as her TV and DVD player.
However, Ms Ruiz, of Phoenix, told Fox 10 she was more shocked to discover the burglars had taken her son Matthew Isaiah Hernandez's ashes from out of the silver box they were contained in.
The box had her son's name and birth date engraved on it.
Ms Ruiz said she could not afford to bury her child, who passed away almost eight years ago.
“By taking my son’s ashes, I’m devastated”, she told the network. “I’m heartbroken”.
Ms Ruiz says she will not take any action against the thieves if they do return the ashes.
"It's my child somewhere, so I'm hoping the people will just feel bad. They can come at three in the morning and just put it by my door - whatever. I just want him back," she said.
Next month will mark the eight anniversary of her child's death.