Grieving woman searches for answers to dead great aunt’s lost precious ring in Baldock care home

Aunt Florence

Aunt Florence - Credit: Archant

A grieving family member is appealing for information after a precious engagement ring and family heirloom belonging to her late great aunt went missing in a Baldock care home.

Julie Pritchard is looking for her great aunt's rings

Julie Pritchard is looking for her great aunt's rings - Credit: Archant

Julie Pritchard was devastated to discover that the precious ring belonging to her great aunt Florence Edith Levisohn, who was 96, had been removed when she died last month, and a painting she had for years was gone.

Florence had been staying at the Osbourne Court Care Home in Park Drive – which she paid for herself – for more than 10 years.

Julie, pictured left, said: “A week before aunt Florence Edith died I removed her wedding ring, but her knuckles were so swollen I could not get her engagement ring off.

“When she passed away at the care home, the engagement ring had gone and the undertakers confirmed she was not wearing any jewellery when she was taken to them.”

Julie believes the items have been stolen is also angered that no CCTV has been installed at the care home.

A spokeswoman for Osbourne Court said: “When the great niece of a resident said she thought some of her great aunt’s personal possessions were missing, we acted immediately and in line with our policies and procedures.

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“This included a full search and the notification of all relevant authorities, including the police to allow for the matter to be independently investigated.

“Residents and families are advised to keep any valuable items at home, and for these only to be brought in should they be needed.

“However, should a person choose to have these items with them in the home, there is a safe available for them to use and they are encouraged to do so. All items brought into the home are logged.

“This matter is currently being investigated and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time. Our primary focus at all times is the well-being of all those entrusted to our care.”

Commenting on Julie’s concerns about a lack of CCTV, the spokeswoman added: “The question of whether to install CCTV is complex. To our knowledge, no major care group has CCTV installed as standard.

“The potential benefits of CCTV have to be weighed against questions of protecting people’s privacy and dignity. The care home is their own home.”

Herts police confirmed: “Between January 1 and 9, precious items went missing from a lady’s room at the care home. At the moment, the case is pending further information. Should any further information come to light, we will look into it.”

If you have information call police on non-emergency number 101.