A thief in Courtenay who made off with some sentimental disc golf equipment has apparently had a change of heart.

Several custom-painted disc golf tonals – or targets – disappeared last month from a private course, including one tonal that contained the ashes of a former disc golf club caretaker.

Now the tonals have been returned along with an apology letter. The ashes, however, are nowhere to be found.

"I had no idea the personal and private connection of any of the game pieces I alone stole," the anonymous letter said, in part. "My motivation was the preservation and refurbishment of the tonals, reinstalling them when a new playing field had been established."

The whereabouts of the ashes, however, remains a mystery.

"Each and every tonal that was removed from their posts was 100 per cent empty and void of anything except one tonal [that] rattled when I lowered it to the ground ," the letter said. "Inside this piece were three broken glass [SunRype] juice bottles suspended by nylon string from their lids.

"I did remove these items from inside," the writer said. "If this was the place of internment of a family member and friend, I am sincerely sorry."

Comox Valley RCMP have not yet commented on the return of the items.

Apology letter
Apology letter found along with the returned tonals.