Sept. 4, 2013
It was one of the toughest days of Shari Barnes' life.
On Tuesday, she laid her mother, Mary Brown, to rest. However, when she came home, Shari realized she was the victim of a heartless crime.
"My mom was 89 and had Alzheimer's," Shari said. "When I had to let go, that was the hardest part, but this... I just didn't expect it at all."
Shari's family found their West Wichita home ransacked.
Television sets, DVDs, medicine, computers were among the $10,000 in possessions stolen.
Shari said some things were very peculiar about the crime. In her bedroom, for instance, the thieves took sleeping pills but left three on the bed. They also took photographs out of the picture frames and stole personal clothing, like her daughter, Jenna Duran's undergarments.
"I didn't sleep at all last night," Jenna said. "Every little noise. I was so scared because we're in a good neighborhood and you wouldn't think anything would happen. Every single noise was scary last night."
Jenna even had a wedding ring, valued at $4,000, stolen. Still, she's more concerned with items she cannot replace.
"It's so sad because those are the only type of baby pictures that I have of my kids and the only pictures of my grandma and they're just gone," Jenna said.
Shari believes the thieves knew exactly when to break into her home because of her mother's obituary, which listed her among the surviving family members.
"I do feel violated," she said. "I really felt like I was targeted because of the obituary in the newspaper."
Wichita Police said though this type of targeting isn't common, some thieves have used obituaries to target victims. They suggest that when out of the home, people should amp up security systems and ask a neighbor to keep an eye on the house.
"The neighborhood watch idea. All of that needs to happen," Shari said. "Because when you're in this kind of pain, you don't need more pain."