A Bakersfield mother reached out to 17 News after burglars broke into her family's home and stole her baby daughter's ashes.
On Wednesday, the ashes were found, and on Friday they were returned to the mother.
Paula Lopez's home was burglarized while she and her family were at church on January 6th. It just so happens, whomever took the ashes, returned them to another church and answered Paula's prayers.
"Thank God," said Paula. "I mean miracles exist and here's another one."
Paula Lopez's family is finally whole again after burglars broke into her home and left with a piece of it. Thieves ransacked her Rosedale home, stealing valuables, including the priceless remains of Lopez's daughter, Maria, a twin, who died before she was born.
Two days after the burglary, Paula told us, "The other things are material. They can get replaced, but not the ashes."
After her painful pleas to have her daughter's urn returned, she got a phone call.
"One of the sheriff's said that he had seen the story and that's the reason why he kind of knew the case," said Paula.
The Kern County Sheriff's Department contacted Paula Friday night, saying someone had left the urn at the New Life Church on White Lane and Stine.
"Oh, it was like being alive again. It was so emotional," said Paula of getting the ashes back. "One of the cleaning people, like doing the cleaning of the church, they picked them up and put them inside."
That cleaning person was Hephsiba Medina.
"I found them right there on the floor," said Medina pointing to the ground outside the front doors.
Medina just happened to be cleaning the church on her normal day off, Wednesday. That's when she spotted the tiny, pink box sitting outside and turned it in. Church staff recognized the urn as the one missing and called police.
"I'm finding out those were hers and it was connected, and I was just thankful," said Medina. "And, I was like 'thank you God' for getting the ashes back because you can't replace that."
"My kids, they were giving thanks to God because we were together again," said Paula, "And, my son said we are a happy family again. And, that breaks my heart, but that's true, we are."
The Kern County Sheriff's Department did not find any evidence on the urn to lead them to the burglars. And, the church does not have security cameras. If you have any information on the case, call investigators at 861-3110 or the anonymous tip line at 322-4040.