It was love at first sight when Charlene Sousa met her daughter Kinzley last January.
"She loved laughing, cute little petite thing, she barely fit into her newborn clothes. She wore preemies for the first two months," says Charlene.
Born at 32 weeks, she came into the world much earlier than anticipated and there were complications.
"We had learned when she was three days old that she had holes in her heart," says Charlene.
Her entire life would be spent in the NICU at Valley Children's Hospital.
Charlene says her daughter made strides every day, but three months after she was born she passed away.
"It was hard working through it, trying to get back to work. Anxiety kicked in, I would have panic attacks, I wouldn't sleep at night," she says.
Kinzley was laid to rest at the Hilman Cemetery in Hilmar.
Her gravesite was adorned with flowers, stuffed animals and miniature Christmas tree.
Atop the tree was a very special gift from Charlene's sister Valerie - two golden wings.
Valerie inexplicably died in January, adding to Charlene's grief.
Months later, on Memorial Day weekend, her final gift to Kinzey went missing along with the tree.
Charlene searched the entire cemetery for it.
She reached out to the cemetery board who assured her they didn't remove it from the gravesite.
"And she said unfortunately people just steal stuff," says Charlene.
Charlene is hopeful someone out there can help find Kinzley's wings and return to her the precious memory of her sister.
"It would mean the world to me if I could get those back. Even if they were broken or slightly damaged I would not care," says Charlene. "I'm heartbroken over it. It is frustrating that they would need to stoop to that level."
Valley mom heartbroken after gift to late daughter stolen from cemetery
The two golden wings sat atop a Christmas tree at the gravesite of Charlene Sousa's daughter, who died at 3 months old. Now Sousa is pleading for the thieves to return the gift.
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