93-year-old woman wants her stolen family heirloom back

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- After 68 years of marriage, Jeanne lost her husband. What she kept was a lifetime of memories and one thing that reminded of him the most: a cameo.

Using a photo of Jeanne, her husband Joseph had it made when he was stationed in Italy during World War II.

"He said, 'This is a portrait, it needs to be framed.' They put a gold frame around it, and it was just what it needed," Jeanne recalled.

Today, the pouch that held the cameo is empty, and Jeanne's heart is, too.

Over the weekend, a man who said he was working for a roofing company that had just done work on her home knocked on Jeanne's door.

"I asked him what he was doing in here, and he said he was just checking things out," Jeanne said.

According to Jeanne, the man distracted her as he rummaged through her home, grabbing antiques, sterling silver, jewelry and that cameo.

"They stole part of my heart. That's all I can say," said the 93-year-old victim. The thief also told her the roofing company overcharged her and said he needed to give her some money back, asking is she had change for a $100 bill.

"I said, 'I don't think I have change,' and he said, 'Well, let me look.' I said, 'You're not going to look in my billfold.' I said incidentally, 'I never saw your credentials,'" she remembered.

"Like lightning, he was gone," Jeanne added.

She hopes her story can be a warning for others. Jeanne believes the man saw the sign out front and knew she had just had her roof replaced.

Now, all she wants is that cameo that represents almost seven decades of love.

"I think I would cry my heart out. I would give somebody anything I could give them to get it back," said Jeanne.

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