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http://www.torontosun.com/NewsStand/TorontoSun/News/2003/06/04/102817.html

Ashes stolen

Couple loses children again when thieves make off with two urns

By ALAN CAIRNS, TORONTO SUN

Robert Barnes, holding a photo of his daughter, Kahlil, and Tarah Lipman are mourning the loss of two urns, right, that held the remains of their children. -- Fred Thornhill, SUN

Roger Barnes and Tarah Lipman are reliving the horror of losing two babies after three armed hoods stole a pair of urns containing their ashes. The ashes were stolen along with a 200-pound safe the thieves carried from the couple's seventh-floor condo on Dean Park Rd. in Scarborough last Thursday in the mid-afternoon.

A gold urn contained the ashes of Barnes' baby girl, Kahlil Barnes, who died March 14, 1996, of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Also gone is an urn inscribed with the letters "A B C," containing the ashes of Dimitri Barnes, who was stillborn April 29, 2001, five months after the couple conceived him.

"I feel like I've lost him twice," Lipman, 29, said yesterday.

"If I was depressed I would talk to him and whatever ... this is unbelievable," Lipman, who has no other children, said as she held back tears.

"I'm hoping they can bring it here, give it up to the media, at a police station ... I'm appealing to their conscience, to their girlfriends ... show some humanity," she said.

Barnes, 32, an art designer, and Lipman, his partner of four years, have recently enjoyed success across North America with their RMOI designer clothing line. They were working day and night to open a store at the corner of Yonge and Carlton Sts.

They returned home Friday morning to find the door of their condo kicked in and the interior ransacked.

It was upsetting enough to find the safe and its contents -- gold bars, jewelry and wallets -- gone from the bedroom.

Then they noticed the two urns were missing from the top of the bedroom armoire.

Insurance will replace the valuables, Lipman said, but the ashes are irreplaceable.

The pair believe they were hit by professionals who knew their financial status. Lipman said their new vehicle has personal plates -- RMOI -- and she wonders if the thieves tracked the plates to the address.

Surveillance video shows the men entered an adjacent building and crossed a second-storey walkway. Two of the three men wore masks. A gun was in plain view.

After 10 minutes in the apartment, the three men casually left the building with the safe and two stuffed garbage bags.

Police say the suspects are a 23- to 27-year-old man who is a little over six feet, and two scrawny teens between five and six feet. The older man wore a long-sleeved black top and pants with white lettering. One teen wore black pants and shoes and masked his face with a black cloth. The second teen wore a mustard-coloured jacket and dark pants.

Anyone with information should call police at 416-808-4206, or CrimeStoppers at 416-222-TIPS.


Robert Barnes, holding a photo of his daughter, Kahlil, and Tarah Lipman are mourning the loss of two urns, right, that held the remains of their children. -- Fred Thornhill, SUN
 
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