Houston thieves take Vietnam vet's ashes after breaking into widow's car

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Cops in Houston are searching for the thieves who stooped to a new low when they broke into a widow's car and stole a wooden box containing the ashes of her dead Vietnam veteran husband.

The theft took place in a restaurant parking lot Wednesday night, just hours after Nikki Luedeke went to the funeral home and picked up her husband Danny’s cremated remains.

"It's pretty low. Just return him. I want my husband," she told KTRK-TV.

Danny Luedeke was a retired Marine who served in the Vietnam War. He was 62 when he died of cancer earlier this month. The Carter Funeral Home in Houston said survivors include his wife, three children, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

KTRK reported that Luedeke drove to Houston to pick up her husband’s ashes and was heading home to Buffalo, Tex., when she stopped at Captain Tom’s restaurant off the East Freeway to have dinner.

As she ate, thieves shattered the window of her SUV and made off with the box holding a blue ceramic urn with Danny’s ashes, his death certificate and an American flag.

“I just want him back,” a sobbing Luedeke told the station.

The break-in is under investigation by deputies from the Harris County Sheriff's Office.