Police have released an image of a woman they wish to speak to in relation to a house burglary during which the ashes of a man were stolen.

A 61-year-old Sunshine widow was left devastated by break-in and the theft of a purple velvet box that contained her husband's ashes.

A stuffed cat was also stolen from the Monica Street house that police believe was burgled between midnight and 8.30am on Friday 13 December, police believe.

The offender entered via the front door and proceeded to ransack the house, police said.

The stolen items included the velvet box, the taxidermy cat, a rare antique watch, an engagement ring and other personal items.

Investigators released an image on Thursday afternoon of a woman police have been told was in the area at the time and may be able to help with the investigation.

Detectives from Brimbank Crime Investigation Unit are appealing for witnesses and have released images of the stolen watch and the victim's husband.