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Hopewell woman reunited with stolen pendant: ‘You can’t replace this’

HOPEWELL, Va., -- An engraved pendant feared gone forever after a 2016 burglary was reunited with its owner after CBS 6 Problem Solvers got involved.

Homer Thomas Eliades found the gold pendant buried in the sand along the shores of the Appomattox River in Hopewell earlier this month. He often picks up trash and searches for treasures with his metal detector.

The 14k gold pendant is engraved with “I Love You” on one side and a man’s face etched on the other side.

“I know how it feels to lose something extremely valuable and to get it back is such a great feeling,” Thomas told CBS 6 Problem Solver Shelby Brown on Thursday.

But just hours after CBS 6 broadcast Thomas' story, a Hopewell woman reached out about her precious family heirloom that was taken from her years ago.

Lynne Colacone said the pendant was stolen from her home during a burglary on April 2016.

"Somebody broke into my home, took my jewelry box, emptied one out and took the other one," she recalled. "Although I lost a lot great jewelry you can’t replace this. My brother gave it to my mother on the first Valentines Day after my father passed away."

Colacone inherited the treasure when her mother passed away in 2015.

CBS 6 was there when Eliades returned the pendant to Colacone on Friday. The two live just one mile away from each other in Hopewell.

Tears streamed down Colacone's face as she hugged the 20-year-old and held the pendant for the first time in nearly four years.

"It’s just emotional. When you lose something you just think you lost it. But, when someone steals something from you -- you don’t think you’re going to get it back," Colacone explained.

This was also a unexpected gift for Colacone after she celebrated her birthday on Tuesday.

"I never in my lifetime thought I'd ever have it," Colacone told the James Madison University student. "You’ve got a great heart and integrity. This world needs it. Don't stop."

Colacone said she planned to never remove the pendant from her neck again.

Eliades returns to Harrisonburg on Sunday to continue earning a degree at the School of Media Arts and Design at JMU.

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