EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. -- A hurting mother has a heartfelt plea: The safe return of a bracelet containing her 2-year-old son's ashes that was in a purse stolen from her on Wednesday.
Shannon Paolini was a victim in a murder/suicide in May 2011 in which her boyfriend at the time shot and killed her son, Gavin, shot her multiple times and then took his own life.
Ever since the incident, Paolini carries two items with her everywhere she goes.
"When I was coming out of the hospital, I was given a rosary and I also had a bracelet with my son's remains in a little heart charm in a little bag in my purse," she said. "And now it's missing."
Authorities told KRDO that someone smashed her car window and snatched her purse, which contained the bracelet with her son's ashes in it, from the Garden of the Gods area.
"My little boy's gone, and it was something I used, something tangible to hold on to," Paolini said.
Paolini is an employee at the EL Paso County Sheriff's Office, which published her story on Facebook in hopes that it would be shared.
"We are only interested in getting these precious items back to Shannon," they wrote.
The pandora-style bracelet is silver with a heart charm near the clasp. It has two blue footprints on either side and the words "it's a boy" engraved on the back.
"I don't want the purse. I don't want anything in my purse. I just want my bracelet and my rosary," Paolini said.
If you know anything about the stolen items, you can submit anonymous tips through the El Paso County Sheriff's Office phone app or through Crimestoppers at 719-634-STOP (7867).
The items can also be dropped off at any police or fire station, no questions asked.