updated 1/12/2007 7:12:20 AM ET 2007-01-12T12:12:20

Diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, Melanie Worthington was concerned that her 5-year-old son Theo might not remember her after she was gone.

“When Melanie found out she was sick, she wanted to use the camcorder to make tapes for her little boy,” her mother Carla Worthington said. “So we taped her making cookies with him, playing up at the cabin, anything that he might need to look back on and see how they did things together.”

A few weeks after she died, someone walked through an unlocked door in the Worthington home and stole virtually all of the video remembrances she recorded.

Police have no suspects in custody, and the family has no duplicates of the tapes.

“It was like someone had come out and taken her away from us a second time,” her sister Marnie told The Grand Rapids Press for a story published Thursday.

Melanie, who died Thanksgiving weekend at age 39, was living with Theo, her parents and sister in a ranch home on a dirt road. Whoever stole the tapes also stole two camcorders, a portable DVD player and assorted tapes.

Carla Worthington, 61, said she and her husband, Phillip, 63, are both on disability, but managed to scratch up a reward of $200 for the return of the merchandise and the tapes.

“Maybe this is one way we can get them back,” she said. “I guess I’m hoping for some kind of miracle.”

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