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UB student seeks return of necklace with grandmother's ashes

Haley Lang doesn't care about the Michael Kors purses, wallet filled with credit cards or Bluetooth speaker that someone stole from her house near the University at Buffalo South Campus late last week.

Instead, the UB junior said she desperately wants to get back the necklace taken from her bedside.

That's because it contains some of her late grandmother's ashes.

Lang scoured pawn shops, eBay and Facebook Marketplace to try to find the stolen pendant. She also posted a heartfelt Facebook plea that was shared more than 13,000 times.

"She was literally my favorite person in the whole world," Lang, 20, said in an interview, adding she feels guilty about the loss of the necklace.

The Seneca Falls native is a business major at UB. She lives on Winspear Avenue in the University Heights in Buffalo with five other UB students.

Last Thursday, one of Lang's roommates texted the group that they needed to come home right away because someone had broken into their home. The burglary most likely took place between 1 and 2:30 p.m. Thursday, when all six roommates were out of the house, Lang said.

She said the thief pushed a garbage can underneath the kitchen window and cut the screen to get inside. There, the burglar then broke into six locked bedrooms.

The thief ransacked each room, tearing through closets and drawers. Lang said the women lost cash and credit cards, expensive electronics equipment such as Apple AirPods and Beats headphones, designer purses and a gold necklace. A Buffalo police report puts the combined losses at about $2,000.

Lang said as she was heading back to the house Thursday, she had a sinking feeling when she realized she wasn't wearing the necklace.

She texted a roommate to ask her to look in her room for the necklace, but it wasn't there.

Lang said she wears the necklace almost all of the time, but was running late that morning and didn't put it on.

She said she's hoping someone will see her Facebook post, or this article, and report the necklace's whereabouts to police. She said she's willing to accept its return anonymously, or through an intermediary.

It's an infinity pendant made of sterling silver with three cubic zirconia stones set in it. A Christmas gift from her mother, it has an inscription on the back, "Always with you," and contains some of the ashes of her maternal grandmother, Joan Capaldi, who died in 2017.

"The hardest part for me is I know that if she was here, she wouldn't want me to be angry at these people," Lang said. "And she would tell me that I should pray for them and that they obviously needed whatever I had more than I did."

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