A Michigan woman is desperately asking for help finding a locket that was either lost or stolen earlier this month.
Amanda Shears’ locket may first appear ordinary, but the delicate piece of jewelry holds something precious -- the ashes of Shears’ 11-month-old son, Zealen. The infant, who was born with heart issues, died in 2012.
Shears, who lives in Niles, posted an appeal on Facebook in which she explained that she had outpatient surgery June 2 at Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo. During the operation, she left the locket, along with her wedding ring, in her coat pocket.
After she was discharged, Shears said, she and her husband went home and she left her coat in the car. They discovered the jewelry missing a week later.
"The most likely possibly is they were stolen from our car in Niles, but there's a slight chance they fell out at the hospital," Shears wrote. "I'm hoping that this post will help get them back.
“Of course I would love all of it back, but I can't replace Z and the necklace is not valuable to anyone except me.”
Shears’ Facebook plea, which she posted June 13, has been shared more than 25,000 times. More than 2,000 people have commented on the post, some offering advice.
One woman suggested that Shears check pawn shops in the area. Another commenter suggested she check with the hospital’s lawn service.
"You might want to double check the coat," another woman wrote. "Once, I thought I lost something and it turned out there was a very small hole in the pocket. My item had fallen inside my coat."
A woman who lost her own son expressed sympathy.
“I know the connection that necklace has to your heart,” the woman wrote. “I have one for my son and he’s with me always. I pray you get it back.”
Shears told WXMI in Grand Rapids that the pendant, which is on a white gold chain, is a silver heart with wings on it.
“Somebody might not recognize it as something that holds cremations,” Shears said. “But it does have a screw. If you turn it, you can tell there is something in it.”
Shears has filed reports with the police in both Niles and Kalamazoo, as well as with the hospital, but she told the news station she just wants her locket back.
"If somebody took it, I'm not looking to get somebody in trouble," she said. "It's just something that is very, very precious to us."