Two burglars are now behind bars following the intense investigation of a break-in that left a father devastated.
Monday afternoon, Joel Tuck returned home to find his back door standing open, the glass broken out of it, and his daughter, Whitney Tuck’s favorite pink purse among the items missing. Whitney died in 2005, just days after Christmas. She was 19 when she lost her battle with Leukemia, and her dad kept Whitney’s ashes in a box, inside of her favorite pink purse, in his room.
With the help of witnesses, Franklin Police Flex Unit Officers developed evidence pointing to Jwyanza Weaver and Christopher Gengler as the suspects in the case. The men, both whom are convicted felons, are now in custody. Weaver was out of jail on probation at the time of this offense.
Following their burglary of the Tuck residence, the two drove to a Shell Station on Murfreesboro Road in Franklin, where Gengler threw the purse containing Whitney’s ashes into the trash.
“We’re just devastated by this,” said Tuck. “Our home was violated, and Whitney’s ashes, inside her favorite pink purse, were stolen from my room. I’m heartbroken, and just want her home.”
Whitney’s stolen ashes were in a matte black wooden box inside of the stolen pink purse. The box holding Whitney’s ashes is 8.5 x 11 inches, and about two inches tall. A second box, with the name “Duchess” engraved on the top of it contains the remains of Whitney’s puppy that died a short time after her.
Despite an exhaustive search of several dumpsters, officers have not been able to locate the discarded remains of Whitney Tuck, her dog Duchess, or Whitney’s favorite pink purse. Police are asking anyone who may have information on the whereabouts of Whitney’s purse or her remains to call Franklin Police at (615) 794-2513.
Chief Deborah Faulkner commended the Department’s Flex Team for their quick work to identify and arrest the suspects. She had this to say about the missing purse that contains Whitney’s ashes: “Someone out there knows where this purse is or will, at some point, come across it. For the family’s sake, all we want is Whitney’s ashes back, no questions asked. Drop them off at a police station, a fire station, or anywhere else someone will find them and call us.”
Gengler and Weaver, charged with Aggravated Burglary and Theft, are being held in the Williamson County Jail on $12,500 bonds. They are due in court 04/02/2015 at 1pm.
A reward of up to $1,000 is available for information in this case:
Call Crime Stoppers: (615) 794-4000