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Stolen photos of Chad Carr found, 2 arrested

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Ann Arbor —  Memories have been restored to the Carr family, which had returned home from a spring break trip to find their home burglarized and stripped of a safe containing priceless images and videos of their late son, 5-year-old Chad Carr.

The home of Tammi and Jason Carr, who have worked tirelessly for the ChadTough Foundation they created to raise funding for research to find a cure for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), the rare pediatric cancer that took their son, was broken into on April 8, according to a Pittsfield Township release Friday morning.

A safe containing external hard drives and videos of Chad had been removed, and the family issued a reward for the return of those contents. A car also was stolen. The Pittsfield Township Police Department arrested two individuals and located the hard drives. Their arraignment is today.

Tammi Carr, who began the #ChadTough movement on social media when her son was first diagnosed, posted on Facebook that the family is overwhelmed their priceless items were recovered.

“Words can’t express how happy we are,” she wrote. “These random little memories captured during our five short years with Chad are what we turn to when we need to laugh, cry, or simply spend time with our baby. We are so thankful to have them back.

"A HUGE thank you to the Pittsfield Township Police Department and the officers who were nothing short of amazing. They worked day and night — a straight 36 hours at one point — following leads and pushing ahead for our family.”

The family had offered a reward for the return of the hard drives.

“To show our gratitude, we are donating the $500 reward we posted for the return of the hard drives to a project in Pittsfield Township,” Carr wrote on Facebook. “We are still figuring out what that project will be, but we want to do something to make day-to-day work a little easier for these officers!

"Thank you to ALL of our supporters, including friends, family, and the media who jumped on this story so quickly. We truly have the most passionate, caring group of people making a difference in Chad’s name.

"News spread so fast, in fact, that it went viral … and that made a SIGNIFICANT impact on this case. One of the perpetrators actually saw the information on the news and felt badly ... after he was apprehended, he actually led the officers to where they would find the hard drives. Prayers that his heart can be forever changed. Our prayers were answered ... A situation that seemed hopeless turned around because of passion and awareness.”

Chad Carr was 3 when he was diagnosed with the inoperable brain tumor and passed away when he was five in 2015.  The family has deep ties to the University of Michigan. Chad was the grandson of former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr and All-American defensive back Tom Curtis. His father, Jason, was a Michigan quarterback.

"The parallel to our fight with DIPG is not lost on me and it shouldn’t be lost on you — awareness makes a difference! Let the power of what you did this past week fuel your fire to spread the importance of this cause and these kids!” Tammi Carr wrote.

"Finally, many of you asked if you could add to our reward fund. Those requests were so humbling to us. We would love for any of you who donated or who were thinking about donating to instead contribute to the Pittsfield Township Police Department. They truly deserve it!

"We have felt your love and support through this entire process and truly believe all of your prayers contributed to us getting these priceless memories back. Thank you for being ChadTough!"