Mother's emotional plea for return of toddler's lock of hair

Ellie Louise
Kirsty Baldwin's daughter Ellie Louise before her death, and the lock of hair stolen with the handbag. Photo credit: BBC/ Family handout.

A UK mother is desperately appealing to the public for help after a stranger snatched her handbag, which contained a lock of hair from her infant daughter who died six years ago.

Kirsty Baldwin, 35, stopped to get petrol in Manchester on Wednesday (local time), leaving her handbag on the passenger seat of her car.

In an emotional Facebook post, she describes how she sat in the front seat of her car, when a man opened the passenger door and grabbed her handbag.

Local police report the bag contained an iPad, a large amount of cash, and a purse containing a lock of blonde hair that belonged to the woman's two-year-old daughter Ellie Louise, who died unexpectedly from bronchial pneumonia.

Infant daughter of woman who's handbag was snatched
Ellie Louise, before she died six years ago. Photo credit: BBC/Family handout.

In the Facebook post, which now has over 10,000 comments and 100,000 shares, Baldwin writes that "all items are replaceable" except for the "lock of Ellie's hair".

"I ask with a heavy heart if you can all share far and wide to see if I can at least get that back," she wrote.

"Our daughter died unexpectedly of bronchial pneumonia and the lock of hair is all we had left of her apart from the clothes she had the night she died."

The lock of hair stolen from the woman's handbag.
The lock of hair stolen from the woman's handbag. Photo credit: BBC/ Family handout.

The BBC reports local police officer Cherie Castle said the robbery had "devastated" the family.

"Robbery in any circumstance is particularly distressing, but Kirsty and her family have been left devastated.

"The hair is such a precious item that cannot ever be replaced and she's desperate it's returned to her."

The Facebook post has been shared as wide as Australia and New Zealand, with commenters leaving messages of support.

"That's unbelievable. Hope you get your precious hair back soon," wrote one commenter.

"So sorry, l hope you get it back and whoever stole it feels shamed ," wrote another.