Family receives special gift from Lakeville police after tragic loss

In a year when police officers often found themselves the target of anger, one couple wants to make sure a heartwarming gesture does not go unnoticed.

Steve and Melanie Anderson’s newborn daughter arrived on Tuesday. Two days later, the family was surprised by a knock on the door by Lakeville Police, since they live in Prior Lake.

“Detective Kelly, when I opened the door I was like ‘How did you find me? Oh yeah, you're a detective - you know where I live no matter where I go!’” said Melanie.

Back in April, the Andersons lost their first daughter, AllieAnn just eight days after she turned one.They lived in Lakeville at the time and AllieAnn was in daycare there, too. While at daycare, they got the call that she'd stopped breathing.

“When I arrived at the scene, there was already six police officers there and you could tell by looking at them that it's not good news,” said Melanie.

It was Sudden Infant Death Syndrome that took AllieAnn. Approaching Christmas without her and with the gift of Adeline, they say it was strong faith that got them through the tough times.

“We know she's ok, we know she's blessed in heaven, she's having a good time and the way we were blessed by Allie passing away April 21 and we found out April 22 that we had this little angel,” said Steve.

They moved to Prior Lake to get away from bad memories, but the police in Lakeville who helped them on their worst day didn't forget them.

“She said ‘I knew you were coming close to the baby being born’ and I was like ‘Wow, how do you remember?’” said Melanie.

The detective brought them a card and the police department's challenge coin that officers carry and don't often give out for Adeline's baby book and for when Adeline gets a little bigger, a squad car bouncer.

“Oh the bouncer's really cool,” said Steve.  “Did you know they made them like that? I had no idea - a little police car bouncer! Yeah, that's really sweet!

Lakeville Police didn't do it for publicity and did not advertise any of this, but the family reached out to Fox 9 because they were so moved that the department remembered.

“Small, little gestures like this, they deserve kudos, they deserve to be acknowledged,” said Steve.