A mother has pleaded for a stone teddy bear that disappeared from her son's grave to be returned.

Gloria Temple now lives in the USA, but in 1971 she gave birth to a child at age 16 in Watford. The boy, named Jason, sadly died at just two days old.

With Gloria lacking the money for a proper funeral, the baby was buried in an unmarked grave in North Watford Cemetery, paid for by the local authority. It was not until decades later that she even found out where the grave was and was able to begin visiting and leaving flowers.

Watford Observer: Gloria Temple hopes the statue will be returned when she next visits in July.Gloria Temple hopes the statue will be returned when she next visits in July. (Image: Gloria Temple.)

In December last year, Gloria and her son Christopher placed a stone statue of a teddy bear, from her parents’ garden, on Jason’s grave.

However they were left distraught to find it was nowhere to be seen when she returned on Monday (April 29).

“I am so grief stricken,” the 69-year-old said. “I was in disbelief, heartbroken, I went to my son’s grave and the teddy bear was gone.”

The cemetery team shared the pictures with Veolia staff who maintain the ground to find out if it had been moved for grass cutting, or had been seen elsewhere in the cemetery, but no one had.

Watford Observer: The teddy bear statue.The teddy bear statue. (Image: Gloria Temple)

If it is found or handed in, Gloria has been told it will be kept at the cemetery office for her to collect.

Whether it has been moved accidentally, stolen, or picked up by someone not realising the significance, the mother just hopes it is found.

Gloria, who works as a personal assistant in New York, added: “Just return it, hand it in, no questions asked. Just hand it in to the office.

Watford Observer: North Watford Cemetery (Image: Watford Council).North Watford Cemetery (Image: Watford Council).

“It would be so nice for me when I come back in July for me to find out it’s been returned. Hopefully they find out before I come back.”

If the bear was stolen deliberately, Gloria has been advised it would be a matter for the Herts Police, but she has not contacted them as she does not expect it would be something the force would pursue.