Better Call Behnken

Better Call Behnken: 89-year-old woman heartbroken after necklace vanishes at Winter Haven Hospital

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WFLA) - Ruth Stobbe, 89, is heartbroken after her sentimental gold cross necklace vanished while she was admitted in Winter Haven Hospital.

"I'm very sad about my necklace," Stobbe said. "It was important to me."

The necklace is so important to Stobbe because her late husband, Richard, gave it to her more than 50 years ago. She says she never took it off after he clasped it around her neck - not even once.

"I didn't want to take it off because he is the one who put it on," Stobbe said.

When she had x-rays at the hospital, she held the necklace chain in her mouth, and x-rays she turned over to the police show that.

Stobbe claims someone at the hospital took her necklace and Winter Haven Police tell Better Call Behnken that they believe there was a theft, however the investigation did not prove that.

So, for now, the investigation is "administratively closed."

Captain David Castle, of the Winter Haven Police Department, said he hopes new evidence will emerge.

"We would love to get this necklace back," he said. "We know how much it meant to this woman."

Stobbe blames her nurse in the cardiac unit

"She said that everything looked so jammed around my neck, she was going to straighten it out for me, and a few minutes later, I felt the necklace slide off," Stobbe said.

Angel Neubrand, spokeswoman for Winter Haven Hospital, said hospital staff was "heartbroken" to hear of the missing necklace and looked everywhere for it.

"We are heartbroken," she said. "We tried to find it."

As for the theft allegation, Neubrand said the hospital would consider a settlement agreement with Stobbe, if theft is proven, but so far that has not happened.

She said the hospital recommends patients leave valuables at home when they come to the hospital.

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