MIAMI (CBSMiami) – La’Quinta McKinney says she needed to rent a truck Monday afternoon to move her belongings and the belongings of her children from their Hollywood apartment. Time was of the essence and the mother of 3 needed to move quickly.
She says she was gone for about 30 minutes and left a bunch of items just outside her apartment, including a teddy bear in a dress. But this wasn’t an ordinary teddy bear. It’s a bear that contains the ashes of her deceased baby, La’Vae.
“That bear is more than a bear,” McKinney said. “She’s my daughter. My daughter’s remains is in that.”
McKinney says La’Vae died in September 2016 at just 2 months old. She says doctors determined La’Vae died from SIDS. La’Quinta put her daughter’s ashes in the bear, dressed the stuffed animal in La’Vae’s clothes and took the bear with her and her other kids on special trips. After Monday, McKinney feels lost again.
“Losing her again – the feeling comes back to the morning of Sept 16 waking up and she was gone so it does feel like losing again,” she said.
McKinney says she was frantic when she returned Monday afternoon and realized someone had stolen clothes, shoes, furniture, and the bear.
“I just started looking for her,” McKinney said. “I took everything out of everything and she was not there. I was just crushed.”
McKinney called Hollywood Police and they’re investigating. She believes the people who took the bear have no idea of its’ importance to her. She’s hopeful that once they hear this story they’ll do the right thing and return it.
“I want the people to bring it back,” she said. “They probably thought it was just a toy to give to their kid but it’s much more than a toy.”
McKinney said she’d like the person or people who took the bear to take it to the Hollywood Police Department and return it. She said she’s not interested in pursuing criminal charges. She just wants her daughter’s ashes back.