A Wisconsin husband and wife, both age 90, died this week within a day of each other, and the next day their home was burglarized.
MARION, Wis. — A grieving Shawano County family is coping with three difficult losses in three days.
A husband and wife, both age 90, died this week within a day of each other, and the next day their home in Marion was burglarized. The thieves made off with the couple's wills, deeds and a safe filled with cash.
Eldore and Malinda Mielke's children said it was tough enough losing their parents, but especially shocking to hear of the robbery.
The Mielkes were married for 68 years. They both came down with the flu a few weeks ago. Eldore died Monday and Malinda died Tuesday, said their daughter, Sue Anderson.
“We had two funerals to plan instead of one and then my sister called saying, ‘Sue you're not going to believe what happened. They robbed the house,’ ” she said.
The thieves took cash and jewelry in addition to the legal documents, according to Sgt. Gordon Kowaleski of the Shawano County Sheriff's Office.
“They lost two people, and then you add in that someone had targeted them to commit a crime, really I can't think of any words I can use on camera to describe that,” Kowaleski told WLUK-TV. The sheriff's office was still looking for suspects.
Anderson said she was heartbroken to lose her parents, who shared a lifelong loving marriage. Malinda Mielke had once written a note to her husband saying, “Should you die first and I remain, I will follow.”
In addition to losing her parents, Anderson said she also lost her sense of security.
“To think that there are people out there who would stoop that low,” she said.
The Mielke family is offering a reward, as well as a warning for other grieving families. Anderson said people need to be aware they can be targeted.
Police recommend that people whose homes will be empty for a while enlist a friend or neighbor to keep an eye on the property. They also remind people not to share more than they have to about what's inside the home or what may be in a family estate.