A New Bedford mother has been left speechless after a package was stolen from her property on Wednesday that was meant to pay homage to her late daughter.

Diva Duarte lost her daughter in 2021. Friday would have been her 19th birthday, and now the banner that she had hoped to hang in her daughter’s honor is in the hands of a thief.

“We had just gotten a text from Amazon saying the package was delivered, and they sent us a picture,” said Duarte.

When she got home, the package was nowhere to be found.

“It’s just so wrong,” said Duarte. “What are they even going to do with that?”

In 2021, Duarte’s daughter, Nalijah Andrade, was murdered at the Hyatt Hotel in Boston. While Duarte and her family continue to heal, she wanted to find a loving way to honor her daughter.

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“My (other) daughter suggested getting a banner for her birthday. She always looked forward to her birthday,” said Duarte.

Duarte shared the story online and it was met with thousands of reactions. One stranger even reached out to her and offered to make her a new banner.

“A friend of a friend said they had made me a new (banner) and would be dropping it off later today,” said Duarte. “It’s so kind. I don’t even know her.”

Duarte is also looking forward to a surprise from New Bedford High School, the school from which her daughter would have graduated this year.

“The school will be celebrating her in some way,” shared Duarte.

While good people have stepped forward, Duarte still hopes to track down the banner that she had hoped to hang Friday.

“It’s an evil world,” she said. “This is how we wanted to remember her. I tried to do something nice for her, to keep her memory alive. Just don’t take from other people.”

The thief hoped to score something valuable, but instead, stole something priceless.

The banner won’t bring Duarte’s daughter back, but now Duarte is left wondering how to commemorate her daughter on what would have been her 19th birthday.

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