Burglers Snort Cremated Ashes Thinking It Was Cocaine
Waldo Soroa (l.) and Matrix Andaluz (r.) were two of the teens arrested in the burglary. Marion County Sheriff
New York Daily News via YellowBrix
January 20, 2011
MARION COUNTY, FL – A gang of teenage thieves looking to get high got a buzzkill instead when they realized a stash of “cocaine” they’d heisted and snorted was not the drug, but a dead man’s ashes.
The thieves, who burgled a woman’s Florida house in December, stole – among other items – an urn containing the resident’s father’s remains, as well as a container where the ashes of her two deceased dogs were stored, according to a sheriff’s report obtained by The Smoking Gun.
“The ashes that were taken from the house had been taken because the suspects mistook it for either cocaine or heroin,” the report reads. “During the conversation, it was learned that the suspects had snorted the ashes believing they were snorting cocaine.”
The robbers – all in their teens – later saw a news report about the woman’s house they’d robbed, in which it was revealed that the ashes were among the items stolen.
They wanted to return the stolen remains, the report states, but were “discouraged” by another individual, Gabriel Ruiz, “because of fingerprints.”
Rather than run the risk of being caught, the thieves tossed the ashes in a lake, sheriff’s spokesman Judge Cochran told Reuters.
The unusual details of the burglary did not emerge until the suspects were arrested for another robbery attempt last week.
The three teenagers detained in the crime, according to Central Florida News, are Waldo Soroa, 19, Matrix Andaluz, 18, and Jose David Diaz Marrero, 19. They each face multiple charges.
Divers are reportedly combing the lake for the remains, though a source told The Smoking Gun there is a possibility the ashes are still in Soroa’s home.
Despite what is stated in the police report, some skepticism hangs over the story. Urban legends of criminals snorting ashes mistaken for cocaine have existed for years.
Rumor patrol website Snopes.com addressed the common story in 2007 and traced the myth back to 1996, when police in a robbery case reportedly believed the suspect had stolen ashes from a home believing them to be drugs. That theory, however, was never confirmed.
“Could any reasonable person mistake cremains for cocaine?” Snopes founder Barbara Mikkelson asked. “We don’t think so, thus we’re strongly tempted to dismiss all such tales as just being too far-fetched.”
However, some people – like Rolling Stones legend Keith Richards – have famously snorted ashes on purpose.
“As I took the lid off of the box [of ashes], a fine spray of his ashes blew out on to the table,” the rocker revealed last fall in his autobiography. “I couldn’t just brush him off so I wiped my finger over it and snorted the residue.”