BRADENTON, Fla. (FOX 13) - Manatee County Deputy Jeremy Bass prepares for the unknown each day.
"We deal with different stuff everyday. You just never know what you are going to come across," he said.
A call sent him to a man who had just bought a car from Texas and made an unusual discovery in the back seat.
"He found a purse and found some belongings in there that were obviously sentimental to somebody," Bass said.
They realized the purse and its contents belonged to a grieving mother.
"Some candles, some books and a little urn that said 'baby' with the name on it," he said. "It's something I knew that I needed to get back to its owner."
News of the purse and its precious contents began to spread around District 3 of the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.
Deputy Marc Newman stepped in to help.
"I just took a personal interest," Newman said. "I couldn’t imagine a loved one or a parent being separated."
Senior Administrative Assistant Sandra Dickerman also wanted to help reunite the ashes with the mother.
"I'm a mom myself and just picturing if that were my child, I would want somebody to return them to me," she said.
The three worked as detectives and began a non-stop search. A hospital band from the baby's birth linked them to the mom, who was working in Seguin, Texas.
"She was in an accident in June. She had totaled her vehicle and she didn’t believe she was able to go back to her vehicle to get her belongings," said Dickerman.
The mom thought the ashes were gone forever -- until three co-workers with big hearts came together on a mission.
"The way it was presented, the way all of these items were kept, it was that strong emotional bond," New man said. "She expressed how excited she was and elated that these were found."
The ashes and all of the mother's belongings are now on their way home to Texas.
The Manatee County Sheriff's Office recognized Deputy Newman, Deputy Bass and Dickerman as deputies and employee of the month for their actions.