Omaha, NE - Somebody stole their U-Haul with precious memories of their dead son. Thursday night, they received some of those belongings back. Friday, we showed them the ravine where a thief dumped more of their belongings.
Action 3 News was there as police handed the Skomras the evidence bags. After looking through them, they realized not all of it was theirs. Police think they recovered items stolen in other burglaries around the metro and since the Skomras were still missing keepsakes, we took them to the area police searched.
"It wasn't until last night that we had a moment to sit down and make a record of everything that was taken," Stew and his wife Rita almost left Omaha again with emptiness in their hearts.
Police recovered some of their stolen items but precious tokens from their late son were still missing. When we returned to the site for one last look, we stood in shock together.
Battling barb wired fences and thorny bushes, we stumbled upon pounds and pounds of missing items. We sifted through everything the police didn't find and recovered more irreplaceable photos, letters to the tooth fairy, even a lost family member. "My brothers ashes, we found my brother," said Stew.
This find has a price. The Skomras are in an unfamiliar state, in a heavily wooded area, alone. As reality sets in, so does anger. "Why didn't he just put them in a box by the side of the road? Just put them in a box, he didn't have to throw everything," Rita looked around at the mess her and her husband were forced to clean.
The couple gathered what they could, what they couldn't replace and asked Chad Franco, the suspect accused of committing the theft, to return the rest of their items. "Don't do this, just dump them on the side of the road," said Rita.