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Teen girls charged in car prowling that led to human ashes dumped on street

CALGARY - A car prowling that ended in human ashes being dumped onto the street has led to the arrest of three teenage girls.

Colleen Ransom kept her daughter Emma's ashes in a green velvet pouch in her truck. But in the early hours of Aug. 2, someone opened the unlocked vehicle in southeast Calgary, stole the pouch and emptied it onto the street.

Ransom says she's relieved that charges have been laid.

"I feel horrible for the parents as I've raised four daughters and I know it's a difficult job," Ransom said in an email to the Calgary police Thursday.

"I just hope it will make the girls think a little bit about personal space and belongings and how they're actions may affect someone else."

A 15-year-old and a 13-year-old are charged with theft, while another 15-year-old has been charged with theft and property damage.

Emma Ransom, 19, was killed along with two other women in 2009 when the car they were in lost control, crossed the median and slammed into an oncoming car.

Tips from the public led police to lay the charges in the dumping of her ashes.

"It's like most criminals. They tend to want to talk about stuff, regardless of what they've done, and they're teenage girls ... of course they're going to talk," said Det. Theresa Garagan.

"I'm not defending them by any sense. They probably didn't know what it was. But it was the response, after they did know, when they did nothing about it."

Garagan said the reaction from the three young suspects was mixed.

"The one girl said she saw it in the media and she was so embarrassed and so upset she couldn't come forward. But the other two, once they were interviewed, just didn't take it seriously," Garagan said.

"The one girl was laughing, so it's really disappointing that was the response."

Garagan gave credit to the two officers who worked on the case and wouldn't give up.

"The two officers who took the file they just didn't let it go. People may say it's just a simple car prowling, but it's a car prowling with so much emotion to it."

When she spoke publicly last August, Ransom said it was like losing her daughter all over again.

"Anybody who has lost someone knows how precious it can be. They were the only thing I have left of my daughter and I like her to come with me wherever I go,'' she said at the time. "It never goes away. She's always there. I wake up ... I think about her. I think about her constantly.

"I thought who would do that? Who would take the ashes and dump them? And then I realized they probably didn't know they were my daughter's ashes.''

There was little remaining from the pouch that could be recovered.

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