TUSTIN, Calif. -- A Tustin family is devastated after something close to their hearts was stolen from their home.
Terry Onuma knew almost immediately when she got home on Thursday around 1 p.m. that her home had been burglarized. She saw the door ajar and items scattered around.
She knew the valuables could be replaced, but when she noticed the family safe filled with letters was gone, her heart sank.
"Without my family around anymore, that was the piece I was holding onto," she said as tears formed in her eyes.
Onuma lost her mother, Elizabeth, a little more than a year ago. The 82-year-old battled cancer for nine years. Elizabeth wrote a total of eight letters to Onuma's two sons to open when they graduate from high school and college, and when they get married and have their first child.
"It was really so she could be part of these milestones she knew she'd miss. So that's what's in the safe," she said.
Jeffrey Onuma said his grandmother was always there for him and his brother, and that the letters were her dying words to them.
Terry Onuma opened one of the letters and said it contained a picture, some cash and a heartfelt handwritten card. The Onumas said those unread words are priceless to them, and they hope to somehow get those letters back.
"I'm accepting that things of value can be gone, but those letters were just very unique because not many have the foresight as they're dying to write these letters," Onuma said.
The family hopes that somehow those letters will be returned to them. Anyone with information was asked to contact the Tustin Police Department.