Family’s treasured mementoes still missing

A $500 reward has been offered for keepsakes stolen from car on Feb. 19.

A family remains hopeful that stolen mementoes of a lost son will be returned.

Elissa Carpenter was visiting her mother in Red Deer when thieves broke into her car and stole a purple suitcase full of keepsakes on Feb. 19 in the area of 33rd Street and 47th Avenue.

Among the deeply personal items were bereavement cards and letters and guest books from the funeral of her son, 14-year-old Evan Carpenter, who died of an aneurysm on Jan. 20.

Elissa grew up in Red Deer, moving to Calgary to attend Mount Royal College when she graduated. She was a familiar face to many Calgarians because of her many years as a reporter with CTV.

She made emotional appeals through the media for the return of the most personal items. A $500 reward has also been offered for their return.

Red Deer RCMP also issued a news release saying they were looking for two suspects and asking anyone with information to come forward but so far nothing has turned up despite thousands of page views, online hits, retweets and Facebook shares.

“There was a lot response to this. We heard from all kinds of people,” said Elissa’s father Tom Herriman on Friday.

“We got really good circulation on this. I really thought something would come of it.”

Red Deer RCMP pulled out all the stops to help the family. Police interviewed residents in the neighbourhood, where the car was parked when it was broken into. Officers scoured the area for the stolen items and even tracked down and alerted the garbage truck crew that works the neighbourhood to be on the lookout.

Among the items was a custom Carolina Panthers NFL jersey with Carpenter on the back that had been given to him.

Evan had impressed the team with his computer graphic skills, which he used to create tributes to his favourite team. The team had no idea at first that a teen was behind the imaginative work. They even invited him to a Superbowl party in 2016, although he couldn’t attend.

Several pairs of the teen’s treasured athletic shoes were also taken.

Anyone with information should call Red Deer RCMP at 403-343-5575 or anonymously through Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at

Police say any recovered items can be dropped off at the detachment at 4602 51 Ave.

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