'Give me back my baby's ashes': Mother loses son's ashes in purse theft in Delray Beach

Woman loses son's ashes in purse theft{ } at a Ross store in Delray Beach. (Delray Beach Police)

A mother lost something more than her purse and credit cards to thieves in Delray Beach.

Nita Sheridan had a necklace containing her son's ashes stolen as well, and she wants it back.

“Whoever took everything, they can have it all, but I want my necklace and my baby’s ashes back," she said.

Delray Beach police are looking for two women in connection to the theft at the Ross store along South Federal Highway.

Sheridan told police she walked away from her purse, thinking her husband had an eye on it.

But one of the women grabbed the purse near a display area. Police said both women stood in line behind the victim before leaving the store and running down the street.

"That’s what was hard for me to comprehend. That people can be that low to steal someone’s purse, and act that they’re all giddy and happy about being thieves," Sheridan said. "It’s just hard for me to register a human being that people can be that ugly."

The women wore baseball caps, white T-shirts, and had face masks over their mouths.

Her late son, Jason Pennington, gifted her a gold necklace that's about a quarter inch thick before passing away from a heart attack in 2010.

"That's the last thing he ever bought me," Sheridan said.

She then filled a gold-plated cross with his ashes, a symbol of his strong faith. Pennington had plans to move to Puerto Rico to be a youth minister at an orphanage just days before his death.

"I said, 'I don't have your ashes anymore sweetheart, but I have your memories,'" Sheridan said.

A special possession she rarely removed. Last Friday, her husband had asked her to take it off before entering the store for her safety.

"The police officer said I set it down for a moment to hold up and show my husband an outfit I wanted to get our grandson," said Sheridan, who has 12 grandchildren.

It's a lesson she hopes everyone can learn from, but also hopes this sends a strong message to the women responsible.

“If you want the necklace, keep the necklace. It was my child’s gift. But give me back my baby’s ashes. He’s in heaven now and I can’t get those ashes back," Sheridan said.

Anyone with information is being asked to call Det. Paul Pitti at 561-243-7895.

Call Crime Stoppers at 800-458-TIPS (8477) if you have any information. You could receive a reward if your tip leads to an arrest.