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Thief steals last known photos of girl killed in Colorado theater

October 03, 2012|By Rene Lynch
  • This undated photo provided by Robert Sullivan shows Veronica Moser-Sullivan, the youngest person slain in the July 20 attack that left 12 dead and dozens wounded during the Aurora theater shootings.
This undated photo provided by Robert Sullivan shows Veronica Moser-Sullivan,… (Robert Sullivan )

The grandfather of a 6-year-old girl killed when a gunman opened fire in a Colorado movie theater is making a public plea to the thief who stole a camera containing the last photos of the girl: Please, please return them.

Robert Sullivan told the Denver Post that he returned home Tuesday morning to find that his house had been burglarized. Among the items taken from the Denver home were a coin collection and a Canon camera that contained something priceless: The last photos he and his wife had taken of their granddaughter, Veronica Moser-Sullivan.

The 6-year-old was the youngest of the 12 people killed on July 20 when a gunman opened fire during a screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater. In addition, 58 people were injured, making it one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.

James E. Holmes, 24, was arrested without resistance minutes after police say he opened fire inside the packed Century 16 movie theater. The former neuroscience doctoral student at the University of Colorado-Denver faces 152 charges, including 24 counts of first-degree murder, representing two for each person killed.

The child's grandfather told the Post that the photos on the camera's memory card included those taken during a graduation ceremony at school, and the celebratory trip to a local ice cream parlor that followed. In recalling that day, Sullivan told the newspaper that a woman who saw Sullivan and his wife trying to capture the day on camera casually remarked of the photos, "You're going to really treasure those."

Sullivan allowed the newspaper to print his phone number in the hopes of reaching out to the thief -- or someone else who knows about the burglary. He said he doubts that the thief realizes the value of what was taken. But Sullivan just wants the memory card back.

"The pictures hold special significance," he told the newspaper. "She was a beautiful, special little 6-year-old girl, so angelic, and just a terrible loss."

The girl's mother was also shot that night, and continues to recover from her neck and stomach injuries.

Sullivan told TV station KUSA that he had plans for those photos. He wants to put together a special display for a funeral service for the little girl. 

"There's a huge hole in my heart from the loss of my granddaughter," Sullivan said. "And it seems to be getting ripped more."

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