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Father asks burglar to return photos of dead son

8:53 AM, Nov 26, 2012   |    comments
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Gregory Courtney

GOBLES, Mich. (WZZM) -- The father of a soldier killed in a car crash is begging a burglar to return the last photos he has of his son, which were on his stolen camera.

Gregory Courtney, 22, returned home from Afghanistan last year, only to die in a car crash weeks later.

"It's devastating. It's easy to walk up to someone and give them a hug and offer everything to a friend, but the day you lose your own child, it changes your whole world," says father Joe Courtney. 

And the loss didn't stop there.  A week ago,  a burglar broke into Joe Courtney's foreclosed home and  took away the only thing that brought him comfort-- a camera containing thousands of his son's photos.

"It took my whole heart away. I can't go back to the backyard and revideo tape them. They can't be replaced," says Courtney.

The burglar kicked in the garage door and stole several antiques before walking into the home and taking the camera, which contained photos of Gregory Courtney's homecoming.

Joe Courtney says he doesn't care if the burglar keeps  everything else; all he wants back are his photos. And he has this message for the thief:

"It's the holidays and I'd hope you wouldn't want someone to take those memories away from you. Things like that you can't replace. I just hope God touches your heart and you think about it."

Courtney says the burglar can reach him by dialing *67 to remain anonymous then his number, (269) 352-3427.

Courtney says he's thankful to the community members who have stepped up to help.

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