Family members of a Mi’kmaq man best known for being wrongfully convicted of murder are pleading for the return of an ID card that he signed for his son.

Colleen D'Orsay says Donald Marshall Jr.’s expired ID was stolen when her car was broken into last week.

“I had been keeping my son's expired band registration card because (Marshall Jr.) had signed it," said D'Orsay.

Marshall Jr. was a fishing rights activist whose wrongful murder conviction and subsequent exoneration made national headlines.

He died seven years ago when his son, Donald Marshall III, was just a toddler. That’s why the ID card is so important to him.

"It's mine. And my dad gave it to me. And he signed it," said Marshall III.

"It's one of the only tangible things that Donald J has of his dad,” said D'Orsay. “He has that feeling inside that his father was really important to him. And indeed, when he was a small child, the only person he would smile for or be happy around was his dad."

D'Orsay says she’s not interested in pressing charges and isn’t worried about the cash and cards that were taken. She simply wants the ID returned.

"It's absolutely no questions asked,” said D'Orsay. “And even more so, it's a deep, deep sense of gratitude."

The card shows Donald J as a six-month-old baby with deep brown eyes, chubby cheeks and a pouty mouth. It’s laminated with bright orange bands and has a hole punched from when it became expired.

"It's got such sentimental value, and it's something that makes his dad feel so real," said D’Orsay.

Given his dad died only nine months after the photo was taken, D'Orsay says getting it back is one of the only things that could make it feel like he is alive again.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ryan MacDonald.