They thought they lost him for a second time. A son, a brother. His cremated remains stolen by thieves. KIMA took action and got them back.
It all started when a mysterious package was left by a stranger outside KIMA's front door, wrapped and tied with an unsigned letter on top.
KIMA took the box inside and unwrapped it. Inside: ashes, belonging to Christopher Thomas Prusinowski.
The same Christopher whose ashes were lost a few weeks ago when thieves made off with his father's pickup truck. John Prusinowski kept Christopher's ashes in a toolbox in his truck, to keep him close. Christopher was only 15 when he died in a biking accident at Rimrock Lake.
Detectives found John's truck, but the toolbox wasn't there. Distraught, John and his daughter, Vanessa, asked KIMA for help.
"It just means a lot to me that whoever has them brings them back to me," pleaded Vanessa. "That's all I have left of him."
It turns out the right viewer saw our story. The letter read, "I bought the toolbox three days ago, that had this in it."
KIMA called Vanessa.
"Vanessa, I have some good news for you. Your brother's ashes were returned to KIMA this morning."
KIMA took the ashes to Vanessa's house. Her father was there, too, to welcome back his son. Finally, Christopher was home.
"We're just glad somebody left a note and brought him back to KIMA," said Vanessa. "Our newscast worked. I thought we'd never get him back."
Vanessa said she'll keep her brother's ashes at her house for now.
"We definitely learned a lesson," she said.
John agreed. "No more truck."
Christopher now sits on a shelf in Vanessa's living room. Safe from thieves. Safe with his sister.
"Chris meant everything to me. He was my best friend, my protector."
And now, he's back where he belongs.
Vanessa says the family might now spread some of Christopher's ashes at Rimrock Lake. It is one of the places he loved.