Orlando Police are looking for the thief who stole cash donations meant to cover medical expenses for baby's heart transplant. While the baby lives in Tampa, police say the money was taken in Orlando.
Rodger Anderson says his baby granddaughter Jaelyn needs a new heart. "It's swelling of the heart. Where it gets so large, it collapsed her right lung. It destroys the muscle tissue on the outside of the heart."
Rodger works for Jetblue. He says his co-workers raised about $3,000 to help pay for the baby's medical expenses. According to co-worker James Van Cleave, several employees went to South Florida to collect the money, but as they took a break in Orlando someone swiped the money. "Even this morning when I went back into work people were just sick."
According to investigators the men had dinner at a local Orlando restaurant. When suddenly someone broke into their van, which was parked right in the parking lot. Rodger says, "Took their luggage wallets, passports, ID and also the money we raised for my granddaughter Jaelyn."
Knowing someone took the money meant for his baby granddaughter, breaks Rodger's own heart. He says he devastated. "We were trying to find different ways to raise money for her, because the medical bills were so expensive." James adds, "It was gut wrenching when I got the phone call last night. Cause we were already set up in Tampa to have the raffle and pulling prizes that the company had donated."
Saying that it's "literally stealing from a baby in need," James hopes the thief returns the money. "It's a 10-month-old little girl that needs a transplant and it's her future. Without this help and support its such a big burden on the family."
The family still has $5,000 in donations that were raised in another area. For more information on Jaelyn, click here.
On the web: