Police continue to search for a stealer of memories. On Feb. 6, an unknown thief or thieves used a claw hammer to pry open the door of a third-floor apartment on Rocliffe Street and left with a pillowcase full of the occupants’ personal possessions and a laptop computer.

Police continue to search for a stealer of memories.

On Feb. 6, an unknown thief or thieves used a claw hammer to pry open the door of a third-floor apartment on Rocliffe Street and left with a pillowcase full of the occupants’ personal possessions and a laptop computer.

The laptop belonged to Elizabeth Harrington, who lives there with her mother, Kathy.

Inside the laptop, hidden but not safe, were hundreds of pictures of Army Sgt. Kyle Harrington, killed in Iraq a little more than a year ago.

Kyle Harrington was accidentally killed when a forklift operated by a fellow soldier backed over him. His surviving sister, Elizabeth Harrington, is 22.

“Whoever did this waited exactly a year,” Elizabeth Harrington said of the thief, who broke into the Harringtons’ apartment while the two women were at a family birthday party. “This time last year, we were at my brother’s wake.

“We’re like a family in this building,” Elizabeth Harrington said. “Nothing has ever happened here. I thought it was safe.”

Elizabeth Harrington said the laptop taken from her was given to her by a neighbor in the building so she could store pictures of her brother.

“All my brother’s videos, pictures, e-mails from his friends, the program from his funeral is on there,” Elizabeth Harrington said.

Most recently, she said she’d received 60 photographs of her brother during his second tour in Iraq, pictures sent to her laptop by a friend of his.

“We hadn’t started doing that,” Elizabeth Harrington said when asked if she’d printed out copies of the photographs.

The pictures weren’t backed up on disc, either.

“You’re just not thinking about that when something like this happens,” Elizabeth Harrington said.

“I have some pictures of him before he went to Iraq the second time,” she said.

“I keep trying to think what was once on it,” she said of the stolen laptop.

“They’re investigating,” Elizabeth Harrington said of the Fall River Police Department. “They’ve been very good.

“I know there are more important crimes,” she said.

Sgt. Paul Gauvin of the Fall River Police Department said an investigation is ongoing. Fingerprints have been taken from the apartment and from a hammer found at the scene — the hammer police believe was used to pry open the door to the apartment.

Gauvin said if the prints match any of those held on file by Fall River police, things will go more quickly. But, if prints have to be sent to the state police, it could take up to two months to get a result.

“This is an open investigation,” Gauvin said. Det. Lawrence Ferreira, of the major Crimes Division, has been assigned to the case.”

Gauvin said nothing further could be said without jeopardizing the investigation.

Gauvin urged anyone with information to call Ferreira at 508-676-8511, Ext. 257, or the department’s tip line at 508-672-TIPS.

Elizabeth Harrington, who is left without hundreds of mementoes of her brother, said she will try to get another laptop and reconstruct what electronically stored memories she had of her brother.

“I know the police are working on other crimes, too,” Elizabeth Harrington said. “And if someone got stabbed, I hope the police find the guy who did the stabbing first.”

E-mail Marc Munroe Dion at mdion@heraldnews.com.