A purse snatched from the arms of a young woman in Montgomery, Alabama in the US, contained the ashes of her deceased newborn baby.
Police spokeswoman Martha Earnhardt said today (NZ time) that Monica Thomas of Montgomery was carrying the cremated remains of son Jamar Simmons Jr when she was knocked down by a robber who took her handbag.
The child only lived a couple hours after his birth, and Earnhardt says Thomas was carrying the remains in her purse because she planned to bury them at her mother's gravesite the following morning, on her 20th birthday.
The ashes were in a small box with the child's name and birthdate on the front.
Police Sergeant Mike Myrick said investigators are asking for the public's help locating the suspect and the ashes.