A MUM-of-five has been devastated after a memorial to her late brother and father vanished with “not even a flower petal” remaining.

Cheryl Mitchell, 39, said the memorial at Colwyn Bay Crematorium had become “my little place” after spreading the ashes of her brother Derek there following his tragic death from a drugs overdose in 2009.

The Rhyl care home worker had visited the memorial regularly over the years and just two weeks passed since her last visit when she took her two daughters aged 15 and 16 to see the memorial to their dad, who was also remembered at the memorial.

As well as Derek’s ashes and family photographs was a plaque dedicated to her dad, which she made at school aged 14, and a cross marked with baby footsteps in tribute to the three miscarriages Cheryl suffered in recent years.

Cheryl and brother Derek, pictured before his death in 2009.

Cheryl and brother Derek, pictured before his death in 2009.

“I haven’t got a clue when it went missing,” she said. “I went there two weeks ago to find that it had gone. Everything was there the month before but now there is nothing, not even a flower petal.

“Our dad was a single dad and he died after committing suicide in 1998, which it me hard, so me and Dez became really close.

“Then when Dez died the memorial was my little place; I know it is a public place but to me it was mine. I wouldn’t want people to go to the memorial without telling me, even if they were just being nice.”

The emotional memorial included a tribute to Cheryls three babies whom she never got to meet.

The emotional memorial included a tribute to Cheryl's three babies whom she never got to meet.

The site is managed by Conwy County Borough Council, which said it has spoken with staff and checked its CCTV footage, but it does not know what happened to the memorial.

Nearby grass, trees and hedges had been cut and it appeared that the memorial had been dug up.

“I always kept it tidy as I know the crematorium do move things; I’d take bouquets and wreaths,” said Cheryl.

“I also put down a flower pot for dad, my nan, granddad, and middle kids’ dad; this was the first time they came to see it and the memorial had gone.

“I was in tears but I felt really bad for them, and they searching the whole cemetery to try and find it.

“The last time I visited I knew I wouldn’t be able to go for a while because I was starting a new job, so I made sure it looked nice and put fake flowers there.

“I automatically assumed the gardener had removed it as weeds had been removed and the trees were trimmed.”

Cheryl said she had contacted the crematorium after the disappearance but had to wait four weeks for a response, during which time she had made four follow-up calls.

She said she is now trying to save £1,800 for a half grave before a full headstone can be purchased.

A council spokesperson said: “We’re sorry to hear about this. Our facilities manager has investigated, and the area where these items were placed is fully accessible to the general public.

“The items have not been removed by either Crematorium staff or the grounds maintenance team.

“If we do move memorial items for safety reasons, these are either replaced following maintenance work or kept in the Crematorium Office for a family member to collect.

“There is CCTV at the site but it only covers the immediate vicinity of the crematorium and chapel buildings. The CCTV has been viewed but nothing was evident.”