A family is trying to recover a beloved heirloom that was taken from their matriarch on her deathbed.

Yvonne Berard died on January 28 in the Haut Richelieu hospital at the age of 88, in the arms of one of her grandchildren.

Upon her death she was wearing the wedding ring given to her by her late husband 70 years ago -- a ring that Berard was unable to take off without a lot of effort.

But when Berard's body was next seen, the ring was missing.

Her family doesn't know if the ring was taken while Berard was in her hospital room, in the morgue, or somewhere else.

They took out a newspaper ad with a large photo of the ring asking for information -- or for the thief to return the ring to the hospital or police.

Granddaughter Nathalie Coutu said the ring isn't worth much, with a jeweller appraising it at less than $20 in terms of the value of the precious metal it contains, but it has immense sentimental value.

St. Jean sur Richelieu police are investigating.