Two Colorado brothers clinging to the memories of their father knew a piece of his legacy was still missing.
It was one of their dad’s most prized possessions -- his squad car. And nearly five years after losing him, Tanner and Chase Brownlee had the chance to bid on it.
Weld County Deputy Sam Brownlee was killed in the line of duty in 2010 after a police chase. The County Sheriff’s office auctioned off the his squad car on Wednesday to raise money for C.O.P.S, or Concerns of Police Survivors, an organization that helps survivors of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.
"It'd mean a lot to me and my brother. We've been through a lot," Tanner told ABC affiliate KMGH.
"This is kind of the end of Sam's legacy here. It's the last tangible thing we have that he was connected to," said Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams.
Tanner had a plan going into the auction, having started a GoFundMe page for the car. But Tanner was quickly outbid and the car went to a local farmer, Steve Wells, for $60,000, even though the car’s Kelley Blue Book value was only $12,500.
Then, something unexpected happened -- the keys went right from Wells' hands, into Tanner's.
"I didn't know," Tanner told KMGH. "It means so much to me."
Wells declined an interview with KMGH, saying he did not want to take away Tanner’s moment as he got behind the wheel of his dad’s car.