Urn thefts made felony to deter crime without 'closure'

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For decades, Lisa Wond visited the above-ground gravesites of relatives in Hawaii.

But her tradition of honoring her ancestors changed when thieves stole urns holding the ashes of two grandparents, an aunt and uncle.

In response to the crime against Wond and other Hawaii families, the state Legislature made it a felony to steal an urn containing human remains.

The new law signed by the governor last week requires scrap dealers to get receipts and identification from people attempting to sell such urns.

The urns stolen from the gravesite of Wond's relatives have been recovered, but their ashes are still missing.

Wond hopes the new law will spare other families the pain that comes with such a loss.