Wrongful Death Lawsuit

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A 14-pound pearl believed to be the largest in the world is at the center of a wrongful death lawsuit over the contract killing of a woman in 1975.

A son and two daughters of the slain woman, Eloise Bonicelli, are seeking their father's assets which includes a share of the pearl.

Joe Bonicelli died in July 1998, two years before the man eventually convicted of arranging his wife's slaying was arrested. Bonicelli left his estate to his second wife and their youngest daughter.

The plaintiffs could get a piece of the pearl and other assets from Bonicelli's and another man's estate if they prove the men were liable for the death of their mother. The plaintiffs claim the other man put their father in touch with a Colorado Springs barber who arranged contract killings.

The pearl looks like a brain and is roughly the size and shape of a football. One gemologist said the pearl was worth almost 60 (m) million dollars in 1996.