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Mother's plea to find missing memorial necklace

A mother is pleading for help finding a special piece of jewelry. The necklace helped her hold on to memories of her late son.

PALMERTON, Pa. — For Anita Rapchak, a parent's worst nightmare became a reality when she lost her only child.

"If you have children, you always get to be with them. If you can't be with them, you can talk to them, you can Facetime. Nowadays, there are so many ways to be in contact, but I can't," Rapchak said.

What she did have was a gold necklace with his fingerprint engraved on the front and the words "Ritchies touch," spelled incorrectly, written on the back.

"I always felt like I was touching him. I would touch it constantly, whether I was happy or sad. It always just pops in your mind, and you always just go touch."

For eight years, she hardly took the beloved pendant off. She lost it last week and believes it may have fallen off somewhere near the Palmerton borough park.

"My granddaughter and I come to the park every day and we were playing, and she always jumps down to me and I felt like I lost my necklace, but I just ran after her."

Even if the funeral home could produce a copy of his fingerprint, Rapchak says a new one is simply too expensive.

Ritchie was 31 when he passed. He'd been battling addiction ever since a bad crash when he was prescribed painkillers. He died in a later car crash, but an autopsy found Percocet in his system. His mother tells us she believed her only child was sober at the time, and says she never got to say a proper goodbye.

She's thankful for friends and other members of the community who have been searching for her prized possession, even bringing metal detectors to help.

She's hopeful if someone did find the necklace, they'll turn it in to police, or contact her directly, and she'll be able to have Richie's touch forever.

"I don't have a reward or anything I'm sorry about that, we can work something out, but if you find my necklace, please."

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