Family and friends of a local woman who devoted her life to volunteer work say they are shocked and disheartened to learn an altar cross that was scheduled to be dedicated in her memory was stolen.
The brass cross was taken from the chapel at the Washington Hospital Center, where Patricia Perna had been a member of the Women's Auxiliary before her death.
The cross disappeared before Tuesday morning's scheduled dedication ceremony.
"(The Reverend) went in this morning to get the cross and it was gone," said Perna's sister-in-law, Ruth. "He called me. I couldn't believe it. The family's devastated. The Women's auxiliary ... we're all devastated."
Hospital officials are asking for the public's help in getting the cross back. They're offering the thieves the chance to return the stolen cross, no questions asked. Anyone with information about the stolen cross should call the Captain of Protective Services at Washington Hospital Center at (202) 877-6188.