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'She liked to be where the party was' | River Walk mystery solved, owner claims pendant and confirms it contains her mother’s ashes

A family believed the heart-shaped pendant they found on the River Walk contained ashes and kept it safe. They were right.

SAN ANTONIO — A New Mexico family believed the heart-shaped pendant they found on the River Walk contained ashes. They were right. 

KENS 5 first brought you this story about a family from New Mexico who was visiting the Alamo City and found the pendant. Corrinna Gonzales says she was with her mother and father, when her mother noticed it on the ground by the stairs. The family looked closer and noticed words engraved on it. It read: “Your wings were ready but my heart was not.” Gonzales says the phrase led them to believe the charm contained ashes.

RELATED: Family finds heart-shaped pendant at the River Walk

They shared their discovery with KENS 5 in hopes of finding the owner. Ruth Jordan Burkey’s friend happened to see the story and shared the news. Burkey said she’s grateful the Gonzales family picked it up and held onto it.

“Nowadays, you don’t think there are people out there like that. Most people just care about themselves and when they find something like that – it’s like oh, ok. Whatever. But she tried to get it back to me and that means a whole lot,” said Burkey.

Credit: Ruth Jordan Burkey
Rita and Ruth.

Burkey shared that her mother, Rita, passed away May 17. She bought the pendant a few days later and put her ashes inside. Burkey said the words on the heart represents how she feels about her mother’s sudden death.

“She started getting sick a lot and she’d come right out of it though. We didn’t think she’d ever go because she’d get sick and she’d be just fine. But the last time, it just wasn’t. That was it,” said Burkey. “It was kind of a shocker. We knew she was kind of sick but didn’t know it was going to be that fast.”

Credit: Ruth Jordan Burkey
An old picture of Ruth's necklace that she bought in honor of her mother's memory.

Burkey visited the River Walk nearly a week before the Gonzales family. The pendant remained on the River Walk for five days. She didn’t realize it was missing from her necklace, until she got back to her hotel room.

“I started thinking like, she liked to be where the party was and that’s the thing that she would like. I guess she can stay there because I wasn’t going to start walking and go looking for it because I didn’t know exactly where I lost it,” said Burkey with a laugh. “I guess she was done partying and ready to come home. She got too hot.”

Burkey said she plans to put the pendant away in a safe location to ensure it’s never lost again. She's also asked the Gonzales family to keep in touch with her.

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