ELK GROVE (CBS13) — A necklace containing the ashes of a local woman who died from the flu South Korea was found outside a good Samaritan.
A quick glance on the ground outside a Jamba Juice in Elk Grove was all it took for Amber Contreras.
“I grabbed it and threw it in my purse not thinking anything of it,” she said.
The discovery of that necklace would set off a chain of events that would link a family to a lost loved one.
Inside the heavier-than-normal necklace were the ashes of Andrea Godina. The UC Davis graduate died suddenly on Jan. 19, just six days after catching the flu and pneumonia in South Korea where she was teaching English to children.
The hospital in South Korea required the family pay the thousands of dollars in bills for Godina’s treatment before the 32-year-old’s remains were returned home—money the family didn’t have.
The family started fundraising with several car washes and spreading the word on social media. People from all over the country responded, raising almost $30,000 in just a few days.
So when her sister, Bianca Cisneros, realized the ashes she keeps close to her heart were missing, panic set in.
“Oh my god, where’s my sister at,” she said.
Retracing her steps back to the Jamba Juice brought no luck. As she looked up and wondered where it could be, little did she know her sister was being well taken care of.
With necklace in hand, Contreras took to social media, posting a picture that Cisneros happened to come across.
“I just like broke down and started crying,” Cisneros said. “I was like, ‘That’s my necklace.’”
She’ll tell you it’s much more than that.
“That was a special gift from my mom, saying, ‘Here’s your sister, she’ll always be with you,’” she said.
And that still holds true, thanks to a young lady who did the right thing and acted straight from her heart.