THORNTON, Colo. — Monday morning prompted unprocessed feelings to resurface for one father and daughter in Thornton after their car was stolen.
Carmindy Kirchner, 16, got out of bed and noticed her car was gone from the Parkhouse apartment complex parking lot.
She called her dad and confirmed he didn't move it. The two called police and reported it stolen.
On the surface, "It's just a regular old car," Carmindy's dad, Mike Kirchner, said.
But, the 2017 Hyundai Veloster was so much more than just a first car for Carmindy.
"It just made me feel closer to her," Carmindy said.
She's talking about her mom, Stephanie. The car used to belong to her until May of 2020.
"My wife passed away last year," Kirchner said. "She had complications from her heart."
Kirchner and Carmindy didn't have a chance to say goodbye.
"When we got there, they told us that she'd already passed away. So it's very difficult." Kirchner said, holding back tears.
The moment of grief all came back when they noticed the car was stolen.
"All I could think about was her and her not being here to see everything, to be a part of everything. It's very, very hard, very difficult," he said.
Carmindy says her mother's personal belongings, even her scent, were still in the car.
"That was one of the few things that was really important, really sentimental. It's like the one night that I parked on the actual street it got stolen," Carmindy said.
Now, Carmindy and her dad hope whoever took the car might have the heart to return it.
"I'm not interested in pressing charges, I'm not vengeful or anything like that, I just really want the car back," Kirchner said.
And the odds may be with the Kirchner's. More than 70 percent of cars stolen in the last fiscal year within the Denver Metro area were found within the first 30 days, according to the CATPA Metropolitan Auto Theft Task Force.
The condition of the cars when returned are another story, but Kirchner and Carmindy don't care. The car can be repaired. The sentimental value it represents is priceless.