DEBBIE Osborne has already endured the tragic death of her 13-year-old son Christopher, so discovering his grave was targeted by thieves last week has left her “heartbroken”.
“I’m just shattered,” she said.
“It’s heartbreaking that somebody could be so immature and such a low life to do this.”
Mrs Osborne, who visits her son’s graveside most days, thinks the items, including cherubs, angels and dragons, were taken some time between Wednesday afternoon and Friday afternoon last week.
Several of the stolen items had been glued in place.
She says the items, worth around $1000, are of great sentimental value to her son’s family and friends, many of whom frequent the grave site and often visit it to commemorate special occasions such as Christopher’s birthday, Easter and Christmas.
“It means that I can’t make my son’s grave pretty, it’s like they’re punishing my son,” she said.
“It’s not just my son’s grave, there are also graves in the baby section [of the cemetery] that have had ornaments taken as well.
“I know the baby section pretty well because I’m at the cemetery so often and I know teddy bears and cherubs have been taken from the graves there.”
Mrs Osborne said she couldn’t believe there were people in the community who would stoop so low.
“I hope that karma comes and bites these people on the backside,” she said.
As a result of what’s happened, Mrs Osborne says she now hasn’t got the heart to put up a Christmas tree at home.
“This time of year is hard for me,” she said.
“A mother’s not supposed to bury their child, and I still haven’t come to terms with losing my son.”
Christopher died eight years ago, a short time after collapsing at football training, and his cause of death is yet to be determined.
Mrs Osborne is urging anyone who knows anything about the thefts to contact police immediately.
“I wouldn’t like to see this happen to another family,” she said.
Police are investigating the matter and would like anyone with information about the thefts to contact them immediately.
Orange City Council spokesman Allan Reeder said staff didn’t notice any unusual behaviour in that area at the end of last week.
“Orange City Council staff keep a close eye on the cemetery, and this particular grave is nearby the staff buildings on the site,” Mr Reeder said.
“I can imagine Mrs Osborne’s grief and sadness to discover that the ornaments family had placed around her son’s grave had been disturbed.
“I’d appeal to anyone who knows anything more to come forward.”