NEWTON (CBS) – Even at the office, it’s hard for Mirian Mendoza to stop thinking about her young son Matthew — and what’s been stolen.
“It’s memories. It’s life,” says the Newton mother as her voice cracks with emotion. “It’s a lost treasure for me.”
She’s talking about what happened last Tuesday evening, when she returned to her apartment on Lexington Street in the Auburndale section of Newton with her 9-month-old son — who was sick with a cold.
WBZ-TV’s Ken MacLeod reports
He was crying, and she scrambled upstairs to care for him — accidentally leaving her laptop in the car with the doors unlocked.
When she came out the next morning it was upsetting enough to see that someone had swiped her laptop while rummaging through her Toyota. But that quickly turned to panic and heartbreak when she realized that her camera’s memory stick was in that laptop.
At least 200 baby Matthew photos — gone — with no backup.
“That was the worst feeling,” she says. “That’s when I started to realize that these memories were gone.”
She had popped a handful onto her Facebook page before the theft. But the one gigabyte memory stick had all the rest — capturing the kind of moments that only come once.
“Like when he started to hold his bottle,” laments Mendoza. “When he started to crawl. I’m never going to have those pictures anymore.”
Little Matthew himself didn’t seem to upset by the loss as he played with his mother on the living room floor Monday afternoon. But his Mom sure is.
Those photos track the youngster from the delivery room through last week, and she feels guilty about giving hoodlums the chance to swipe a chunk of his young life.
“I wish I could explain to him someday,” she says with tears in her eyes. “‘Matthew, I’m sorry I don’t have your pictures anymore. I don’t have your first moments anymore.”
But by going public, she hopes to create another chapter to tell Matthew — one that features a pawn shop, Good Samaritan, or even the crook — returning the memory stick and pictures.
It’s a long shot. But she says it would come with no questions asked — and a $200 reward.
“I will be the happiest woman in the world if I could recover those pictures,” she says.
The memory stick is plugged into a black, Dell Latitude E6500, inside a Suffolk University case. That’s where this immigrant from Ecuador earned her MBA.
She offers up her email address to anyone with information. It’s firstname.lastname@example.org.