Washington Co. Couple Begs Burglars To Return Photos of Deceased Baby

Tuesday, April 4th 2017, 11:07 pm
By: News On 6

Burglars have no idea when they break into a home that they might be stealing something so valuable to a victim that it’s irreplaceable.

That’s what happened in Washington County where a theft forced the victims to relive the death of their baby boy all over again.

The Tatum family hasn't lived in their mobile home for several months after a tornado damaged it last year.

Recently, burglars came by while they were gone and took something irreplaceable.

Jason and Harlie walked into their home to find all their belongings either missing or a mess. Burglars made off with their TV and DVD player, their kids' toys and even the family's clothes.

All of that can be replaced, the family said, but the burglars also took something priceless.

"Then he said, 'The safe is gone,' and I just lost it. Felt like my heart kind of broke again," Harlie Tatum said.

Inside the family's safe was photographs and a guestbook from their first baby's funeral.

Elijah only lived for two weeks before he died six years ago, and the pain is still fresh.

Jason Tatum said, "I didn't have time to build memories. You can't really build memories with a baby but you can put a lot of hopes and dreams into him. And it all just kind of crushed away. It's heartbreaking."

Harlie said Elijah's photo album helped her grieve, but now it's gone.

"Touch it, feel it, even kiss it, you know. Kind of like, when you can't kiss your baby but you can kiss your picture of him, it's as close as you can get," she said.

They're hoping the thieves will see how easily they can ease the heartbreak and return the pictures.

"With the pictures, she can cope," Jason said.

If you have any information on the case you're asked to call the Washington County Sheriff's Office at 918-337-2800.

The family is asking the burglars to return the photo album, no questions asked, to P.O. Box 231, Copan, OK.

They may also drop it off at the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise mailbox at P.O. Box 1278, Bartlesville, OK, 74005.

The family has not set up a fundraising account but anyone interested may send checks to P.O. Box 231 in Copan.