St Jude helps former patient's family who was robbed before the marathon

By: Zach Crenshaw

Updated:

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - St. Jude is stepping up to help the family and friends of a former patient who were back in town to run in the marathon.

The parents of a former patient were robbed on their first night in town.

It happened downtown off Vance, while the parents and group of friends were eating dinner at Gus's Fried Chicken.

Thieves smashed their car windows and stole all their luggage, according to a police report.


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It was one of the first times Sarah and Josh Halter were back in town since their four-year-old daughter, Austyn, passed away at St. Jude in August.

According to police, the suspects got away with luggage, cash, cosmetics, even custom-made T-shirts.

The family said what hurts most though is what was on one of their cameras, pictures of little Austyn that were not saved anywhere else.

As the family tried to focus on the marathon to honor their daughter's fearless legacy of #AustynStrong, businesses and strangers offered to help.

In a Facebook post, mom Sarah wrote:

"St Jude has helped us TREMENDOUSLY by having My car towed to a safe place, making sure that we are all safe, and by making sure we have the things we need for the marathon this weekend...

We REFUSE to let this stop us from doing what we came here to do...and that is to run for our baby!"

A Cordova non-profit, the Goddard Foundation, has offered up at $1,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest of recovery of the luggage and camera.

If you have any information about where their stolen belongings or who robbed the family, call police.

In Austyn's obituary, it reads:

"Our miracle girl, Austyn Louise Halter, age 4, died in the loving arms of her parents at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, TN on Friday August 4, 2017 at 9:16pm. After a courageous two year battle with a rare form of leukemia, she passed gently into the arms of Jesus, surrounded by family."

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