Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
SANDY — A Utah mother lost precious items when her car was broken into at a Sandy golf course, but none of it was as valuable as a toy belonging to her late child.
It happened on June 20. Samantha Hanson was enjoying her regular Monday routine, getting on the golf course with friends to take a break from the real world. "I didn't realize I would like it so much," said Samantha Hanson. "We do nine every Monday."
"It's just fun to see yourself getting better," she said.
However, a theft while she was golfing left her feeling broken.
"We were on the seventh hole and my friend called me and like, someone broke into your car," said Hanson.
Sure enough, she found shattered glass all around her car at River Oaks Golf Course in Sandy. "The only thing they took was my purse," said Hanson.
The thief tried to use her American Express card, but it was denied. "Thank goodness," said Hanson. "They used my debit card at the Walmart down the street and spent close to $900."
It's not the money Hanson is worried about the most, though. Instead, there was one priceless, irreplaceable item inside her purse.
Among all the credit cards and IDs was a stuffed elephant.
"I just want it back," she said. "It was my son's and he passed away. He was killed in October of 2009. And so I take the elephant everywhere with me."
Milo Doxey was only 9 months old when he was killed by his babysitter.
That man was charged with murder but pleaded guilty to child abuse homicide, giving him less prison time.
Hanson says the stuffed elephant, which she slept with every night, is the only toy of her son's she has left.
"I woke up the past two nights because I didn't have it," she said. "What's so hard is I keep thinking about it being in the trash somewhere. Just all alone and discarded like it was nothing."
She knows there are other stuffed animals out there that look the same, but she says none of them have what that one has.
"I don't want another elephant. I just want the one that was his and the one that has been with me through everything," said Hanson.
Sandy police detectives are looking into the case.
Friends and family are also offering a $1,000 reward for its return.
Hanson is hoping the thief might see this story, realize it's more than a stuffed animal, and bring it somewhere where it can be returned to her.
That's the day she's truly looking forward to.
"It's been all over the country with me. I just take it everywhere," she said. "I can't sleep without it."