ROSEVILLE -- A house cleaner is facing grand theft charges after a man mourning the death of his wife noticed dozens of pieces of her jewelry were gone.
A large jewelry box is filled with warm memories for Amber Geiss. Each piece is a reminder of her vibrant mother who died suddenly in March.
"This is so my childhood right here," Geiss said.
But Geiss says 35 of the most valuable items are now gone.
"You already have the shock of losing your mom and a wife so, so suddenly and then to be so violated in your darkest days," Geiss said.
Geiss said her father noticed thousands of dollars of jewelry went missing shortly after a house cleaner helped him clean up as he mourned his longtime love.
The family contacted the cleaning company Maid For You Cleaning Services about the theft then reported it to the police.
"Fortunately, they were able to contact the house cleaner and get a confession and ultimately an arrest for grand theft," said Rob Baquera, a spokesman for the Roseville Police Department.
Roseville police say the suspect is the house cleaner, Rachel Monahan. The owner of Maid For You told FOX40 Monahan was a contractor, not an employee. No one conducted a background check prior to her being hired.
She has now been fired.
"This individual did have a criminal past, which it's always a good idea to know who's coming in and out of your house and also being cautious," Baquera said.
It is a warning for others that came too late for one family, who was left without priceless heirlooms.
"He would only have the wedding ring to hold onto and that's gone now," Geiss said. "It can never get that back."
Police were able to track down four of the stolen pieces at a local pawn shop. They had to buy those items back because the cleaning company was not insured.
The family believes there may be other victims. Anyone who thinks they're a victim is urged to file a police report.