Jacksonville woman: Please return mom's stolen funeral plaque

Personalized funeral items were stolen from car after services

By Destiny McKeiver - Multi-media journalist, Roxy Tyler - Web producer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Jacksonville woman's heartbreak over the death of her mother was magnified after a thief stole her mother's funeral plaque. Now she's pleading to get it back.

Pearl Walker died on July 18 after a long battle with diabetes. Her daughter, Tabitha, was by her side until she took her last breath.

"She had been a dialysis patient for 11 years. For the last two years, she had been really sick off and on, dealing with bleeding," Tabitha said.

As family members prepared to lay Walker to rest, her loved ones had a special plaque made with photos and a poem to be placed near her casket.

"After the service, the funeral director handed me a burgundy bag. Solomon Glover Funeral bag. I never got a chance to look in the bag. I peeked inside and all I seen was the plaque on top," Tabitha said.

Tabitha said the items were placed in her cousin's car as the family gathered to eat after the service. Then the next morning the items were gone along with a cellphone.

Now, Tabitha and the rest of her family want to know who's responsible. She has a message to whoever took those precious mementos.

"I just want to tell that person or persons, I forgive them. I just wish they would have returned the items and if they still have them, they still have the opportunity to bring them back to 26th Street where they took them from. They really took a piece of me away," she said.

The stolen cellphone was tracked to Grand Park, but there was no sign of the missing plaque.

"What they took from me, I’ll just never forget it," Tabitha said. 

The funeral home contacted Walker after seeing her story and agreed to make another plaque for free. She'll receive the replacement plaque Friday.

If you know anything about the stolen items or can help the family retrieve the missing funeral plaque, you're asked to call the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500. 

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