New Brunswick

Woman heartbroken after theft of angel kept in memory of sister who vanished

Tammy Cormier-Raynes liked to talk to the stone angel in the front yard of her west Saint John home, believing she was somehow reaching the teenage sister who vanished 32 years ago.

Tammy Cormier-Raynes 'sent prayers' to her sister who disappeared from Saint John in 1985

Stolen angel represents missing sister

5 years ago
Duration 0:37
Tammy Cormier-Raynes 'sent prayers' to her sister who went missing in 1985 through the heirloom

Tammy Cormier-Raynes liked to talk to the stone angel in the front yard of her west Saint John home, believing she was somehow reaching the teenage sister who vanished 32 years ago.

On Thursday, the angel that brought Cormier-Raynes some peace in recent years was stolen.

A neighbour witnessed the theft. 

"Last night, my friend next door, she was hollering, so we looked to see what she was hollering about," Cormier-Raynes, said Friday. "When we came out the door, she was yelling, 'They just took it, they just took it,' and I said 'What?' and she said, 'Your angel.'"

Cormier-Raynes wants it back.

For her, the angel represents a connection to her sister, Kimberly Amero, who disappeared from Saint John in 1985, just before her 16th birthday.

A daily routine

To Cormier-Raynes, the stone angel has been a way of "sending prayers" to a sister she had no other way of communicating with. 

Tammy Cormier-Raynes points out the spot where a stone angel usually sits in the front yard of her home on Dever Road in west Saint John. (Ben Silcox/CBC)

"The angel represents Kim. … It's something I can pray to and talk to that represents my sister. 

"In my mind and in my heart, she's hearing how I'm feeling and what I'm saying. This is something I do on a daily basis.  This is how I stay connected to my sister."

The routine also helps her get rid of stress during trying times, Cormier-Raynes said.

She said her neighbour saw an orange Jeep-like vehicle pull up to the garden out front around 11 p.m. Thursday.

A woman with blond hair hopped out, grabbed the statue and got back in the car before it drove away.

The only trace of the two-foot-tall angel is a small imprint where Cormier-Raynes pushed its base into the dirt of her garden so it wouldn't blow over in the wind.

She said she simply hopes the people who took the angel return it to where it sat in her garden.

"It's really heart-wrenching to know when I come out, I'm going to have that empty void, because I don't have the angel to represent my sister."

Kimberly Amero, who disappeared from the exhibition grounds in east Saint John, would be 47 years old. Saint John police are still investigating the case. 

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