An Auckland woman's grief was compounded when she arrived home from her mother's funeral to find her house ransacked and her baby daughter's ashes stolen.

Glen Lindsay travelled to Opotiki in the Bay of Plenty for the funeral of her mother, who died of cancer aged 79, last Tuesday, and returned home the next day to find the ashes and other personal items stolen.

Ms Lindsay had kept her daughter Madeleine's ashes in the same small box since December 1987, when Madeleine died of an inoperable heart condition ten days after birth.

The box was taken from a top drawer in the mother of four's bedroom.

"It is a bit like losing her all over again," Ms Lindsay told The Dominion Post.

The burglar had climbed through a window, taken items - including irreplaceable family jewellery - and left through a ranch-slider.

Ms Lindsay had no photos of her only daughter because the camera used to take photos of her hadn't worked properly.

Police were investigating and said depending on the morals of the burglar, the ashes may be returned, as had happened in similar burglaries in 2006 and 2007.

- NZPA