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Grand Forks woman says locket with mother's remains stolen from car

By Stephen J. Lee, Grand Forks Herald
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Dec. 12--Fayme Stringer Henry feels like she lost her mother all over again.

Nearly a year to the day since Henry's mother died at 55 from cancer, she lost a tiny urn, in a sort of locket, stolen from her car outside her home in south Grand Forks late Tuesday or early Wednesday, Henry says.

Her mother, Katheryn Barry, died Dec. 14, 2012, in Grand Forks, and her funeral was at Bakke Funeral Home in Larimore, N.D., where she had lived in recent years.

Using a locket her mother bought for the purpose -- also buying Henry's sister a similar one to give them a reminder of their mother -- Henry kept part of her mother's ashes to be near her, hanging the locket-urn from the mirror in her car.

That is a special place because her mother's life insurance proceeds helped Henry buy the car, the first one she's ever owned worth more than "the $500 deductible on my car insurance," Henry said.

That fact made locking her car doors a new idea to her, something she forgets to do as she's helping her children in and out, Henry said.

As she was driving to work Wednesday morning, she noticed the locket was gone from its place.

"It was my own stupid mistake," she said. "I look at it every day."

Rambling life

She didn't wear it because she didn't want to lose it somewhere.

"I keep it in my car so she can go with me. She was kind of a gypsy," Henry said, unable to hold back the tears when talking about her mother and losing her again. "She moved around a lot."

Her mother had lived in Larimore recently, until moving into Grand Forks when her illness got worse last year.

Katheryn Barry grew up in western North Dakota, served in the Navy for seven years and lived around the United States before settling back in North Dakota a few years ago. She is survived by her husband, Brent Barry, Larimore.

Henry, a social worker at the St. Joseph Social Care and Thrift Store at Cherry Street and Eighth Avenue South, reported her loss to police right away.

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Officer Rick Fuka of the Grand Forks Police Department met her at her office Wednesday morning and took down the information.

But he said such random thefts are difficult to solve. The local pawn shops will be contacted, he said.

Although there's no serial number to identify this locket, its unusual nature as a small urn, with an off-kilter screw on top, might make it easier to identify.

Fuka says he encourages owners in such theft cases to be proactive, and check websites such as Craigslist and eBay where thieves try to sell stolen goods, as well as checking with pawn stores themselves.

"I tell them to check in as many places as they can think of," Fuka said.

He has been so busy the past two days with traffic accidents caused by the icy streets, he hasn't had much time to investigate the theft. But the police department has an officer who regularly checks with the local pawn shops about stolen items, he said.

No other reports have come in of similar thefts last Tuesday or early Wednesday from the mobile home park in south Grand Forks where Henry lives, Fuka said.

"I'd be willing to offer a reward," Henry said. "I just want to have it back."

Anyone with information should call police at (701) 787-8000.

Call Lee at (701) 780-1237, (800) 477-6572 ext. 1237 or send email to slee@gfherald.com.

___

(c)2013 the Grand Forks Herald (Grand Forks, N.D.)

Visit the Grand Forks Herald (Grand Forks, N.D.) at www.grandforksherald.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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