With others, very sorry for your loss.
As far as your winch
goes, I'm going to just guess and say that the interior pawls and springs have gone. A winch
consists of a few gears and the pawls/springs.
Most likely the pawls/springs are just broken. Muck cheaper than a new/used winch
I'm sure others will chime on this problem, but please, keep asking us these questions, lots of us here on this list will be more than willing to help.