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Joggers recover, return doctor's sentimental, stolen journal

After nearly 10 weeks, Dr. Chris Brann was starting to lose hope.

In October, thieves broke into his car at Memorial Park and stole his wife’s purse along with a journal.  

Brann appeared on KPRC TV, begging the burglars to return it.

“As I had mentioned to you before, this is the single most important object that I have in my life,” he said.  “It represents so much to me, it’s so important.”

Brann had been writing to his son, Nico, in that journal for many years, sharing intimate, very personal feelings and details about the battle he’s fighting.

Four years ago, Brann’s ex-wife took Nico on a family vacation to her home country of Brazil and  never returned.

“I found out about three weeks later that he wasn’t coming home,” Brann told KPRC in October, 2016.  “It was the most agonizing moment of my life.”

Brann has since devoted his life to fighting for Nico. He still has a team of lawyers working on the case.

He visits Brazil as often as he can but because he has no parental rights there, Brann is only allowed to see Nico every other day for a few hours, under court-appointed supervision.

When the journal was stolen, so was a piece of Brann’s heart.

“I wasn’t ready to let go of the idea that it was gone forever,” he said.

On Thursday, Brann’s luck changed.   14-year-old Angela Seth and her mom Shannon were at Memorial Park when they spotted a purse propped up under a tree. 

It looked suspicious to them, they didn’t touch it or look in it. Instead, they called the police.

Officer Christina Reyna with HPD arrived.

“One of the first things I saw in the purse was a journal,” Reyna said. “I opened it up and started reading it, all of the entries were addressed to ‘Nico’ and signed “love, daddy.”

The journal entries seemed familiar to Reyna and she remembered the news story she had seen on KPRC more than two months ago.

“I remembered a news story about a burglary in Memorial Park and a doctor who had a stolen journal. So I got out my phone and started Googling,” she said.

Reyna found the original story on Click2houston.com and put two and two together.

“The news article said, ‘Nico,’ and I knew it had to be the journal!.”

Using her phone, she then Googled Dr. Brann’s name, found out where he worked and called the hospital.

“I remember thinking, ‘This can’t be real,’” Brann said. “I said, ‘Are you serious?’ and she said, ‘Yes!’”

Brann met with Reyna, got his wife’s purse back and the beloved journal.

It’s obvious the items had been outside in the elements for a while; they were rained on and in rough shape.  There was mold and moss growing on the outside but the journal was in remarkable shape.

“There is not a single word in here that’s not legible,” Brann said.  “That to me is a miracle, a Christmas miracle!”

“It makes me feel so grateful that I was able to give that journal back to him,” Reyna said.

Brann said this is giving him renewed hope that one day he will get his son back, too.

“It’s a sign,” he said.  “Anything is possible, we should never give up. 

Never give up hope.”