21/08/2014 12:10 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 06:12 BST

Girl, 9, Writes Heartbreaking Letter To Thieves Who Stole From Her Baby Sister's Grave


A nine-year-old girl has written to thieves who stole from her baby sister's grave, asking them to return the items they took.

Jessica Ryder's little sister Gracie Bishop died aged 23 weeks in January. Jessica wrote her letter and pinned it to the cross resting on Gracie's grave after the thieves stole items the family had left there, including lights and a fairy.

Her heartfelt letter read: "Please give my baby sister's fairy and butterflies back. It's made us sad to see them gone. No more broken hearts."

The missing items follow a spate of thefts at Widney Manor Cemetery, Birmingham, in recent weeks.

Christina Morton's baby son, Lyle Bagley, is buried next to Gracie, and plaques were taken from his grave.

Another resident, who asked not to be named, said a plant had been taken from her 33-year-old son's grave.

Jessica and Gracie's mum, Gemma Ryder, told the Birmingham Mail: "How can anyone be so heartless?
It's hard enough having to explain to your nine-year-old daughter why we're burying her sister and now she has to deal with this.

"Jessica has written on the message 'no more broken hearts' - this is what we always say to each other. She said to me the other day - 'When will there be no more broken hearts, Mummy?' She just can't understand why anyone would want to do this.

"Jessica decided that she wanted to write to the thieves and leave it on her sister's grave because she wants them to know how they have made her feel."

Christina added: "I just don't know how anyone can steal from a baby's grave. It has got to the point where I have had to mark all of the things I put on my baby's grave - it shouldn't have to come to this, not in a cemetery of all places."

Solihull Council is responsible for Widney Manor Cemetery.

A Solihull Council spokeswoman said: "It is difficult to understand why anyone would want to steal items from the cemetery and show such complete disregard for people mourning the loss of a loved one.

"In incidents such as these we encourage residents to contact the police and we will do what we can to help them investigate the matter."