Woman pleading to get urn necklace back

Necklace containing ashes of a loved one stolen from a truck

When thieves pilfered through her truck, it wasn’t the stolen cash or house keys that Mandy Zanewich was most upset about — it was a necklace that is worthless to anyone but her.

Zanewich’s boyfriend was headed to work on Thursday morning (May 4) when he got to their truck, parked at their Tennis Street residence, and saw both doors were open and their belongings scattered everywhere.

“I could have sworn we locked it. I thought I heard the beep of the key fob but the battery has been dying so maybe it didn’t,” said Zanewich. “I thought it was just money and maybe a few other items stolen and no big deal when I realized something very priceless to me was gone. This was a bigger deal than money, it was family missing.”

A necklace, that houses the ashes of her sister-in-law Lauren Van Dale, also Zanewich’s best friend, also was gone.

“All I had left of her was just that necklace. I kept it in my truck because it was the last place I saw her. Now when I get into my vehicle she is not there and I just want to cry. I’m not looking to place charges on anyone, they just need to know how much it means to me. It is not just a necklace, it is my family. It would mean the world to me to get it back, I just want them to return it.”

Van Dale, who lived in Manitoba, was killed in car accident in 2015 leaving behind a young son and husband. The cross necklace is silver with rose coloured gold and has five fake diamonds dotting the front. It is one of the few things Zanewich had left to hold on to the memory of her best friend.

“It is worthless to anyone else. It is probably worth $16. It is not real gold or diamonds. I don’t think whoever took it would have known it was an urn, at least I hope they didn’t,” said Zanewich. “The last time I saw her I was dropping her off at a wedding, I said ‘love ya sis’ and saw her back as she walked away. Now when I get in my truck there is an absence. I use to always feel her there and I felt safe, now it just feels like I am empty.”

It is why she started the Return the Urn Facebook page to offer a reward to whoever gets it back for her, even if it is the person who stole it. Others have added to the reward total, which now sits at about $400. Zanewich said she can be contacted via email at mandie_zanewich@live.ca, Facebook or by phone at 250-328-5767. She has also posted to several buy and sell websites and has put up posters in the north end of the city.