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When a police officer was killed, the local homeless community gave all they could in her honor

Homeless donate in honor of slain police officer
Homeless donate in honor of slain police officer 02:41

Richmond, Indiana — After a police officer was shot in the line of duty just days before her wedding, the whole community grieved deeply. 

Seara Burton, 28, was beloved. She died 39 days after she was shot on Aug. 10. 

The idea that anything good could ever come from her passing was unimaginable. Until one day a stranger walked into the department. He held in his hand a white envelope with a sliver of hope inside — eight crumpled up $1 bills and a note that read, "People from the street." 

To information clerk Charlotte Jones, the man appeared to be homeless. 

"I told him, 'This is like the most amazing gift that we have gotten,'" Jones told CBS News. 

The man accepted a hug, but insisted on no other recognition. He didn't give his name, but said Burton was kind and would often check in on the homeless. So he collected donations from people living on the street — people with virtually nothing to give. 

"They gave that knowing they don't know if they're going to have another dollar tomorrow," Richmond Police Department Lt. Donnie Benedict told CBS News. "That is as genuine as you're going to get. I mean, that $8 was like $8 million." 

We'll never know exactly who all gave the money or why. Those answers are hiding beneath the brush and underpasses of Richmond. But by all accounts, Burton was generous and fair with a face that always defaulted to a smile. 

Her stepmom, officer Ami Miller, said she was "not at all" surprised by the act. Miller said she hopes that "people don't forget" who her stepdaughter was and that "this is part of who she was." 

In Burton's honor, donations for the homeless are already pouring in. For the department, the greatest gift will always be that simple white envelope. 

"There's hope out there," Benedict said. "There are people out there who will give everything."

Both those in the line of duty and those they serve. 

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