Two suspects have been arrested and charged with burglary and grand theft of the Tampa, Fla., apartment of Anne Muldowney, mother of firefighter Richard Muldowney, said J.D. Callaway, a spokesman for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department.
The family is heartbroken over the loss of the medallion pins, said Muldowney's brother Brian, 40, himself a firefighter in Tampa.
"It's something that means a lot to us, and it doesn't mean anything to them," he said.
The pins, along with an estimated $1,500 worth of jewelry and luggage taken from the apartment, have not been recovered, Callaway said.
The pins were part of a set with the Congressional Medal of Valor, given to the Muldowney family by Bush and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld at a White House ceremony in 2005, Brian Muldowney said.
Anne Muldowney kept the medallion pins while the medal went to Richard Muldowney's widow, Constance, of Babylon. She did not return a phone call Thursday.
The burglary happened March 6 at Anne Muldowney's Carrollbrook Circle apartment, and detectives arrested Carlos Nigel Pierce, 19, and Alicia J. Sanders, 20, both of Florida, last week, Callaway said.
The suspects did not know the significance of the pins, Callaway said. Still, they have "made no comments" about the pins' location, Callaway added.
The pins are estimated to be smaller than a quarter, embossed with a black pentagon inside a blue star. Investigators have notified local pawnshops and secondhand dealers, and anyone with information is asked to contact the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department at 813-247-8200. Callers may be anonymous.
Brian Muldowney said the loss compounded the tragedy of his brother's death.
"You're talking about something that was presented to the family from President Bush, given for the heroics of my brother's actions that day," he said.
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