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try soaking in freshwater for a few days, add a bit 'o liquid soap while you're at it.
Some people swear by slices of cucumber. Apparently for getting rid of fish smells they can't be beat. They absorb the smell... or something.
I usually find a local any hill to be very good at this part. Do NOT leave a shell out in any place where hermit crabs are living. As soon as the shell is clean one of them will move in and take it away.
Once the ants are done a simple wash should do it.
If any of the original owners body is still in there NOTHING will make it stop smelling.
Retarded (retired) commercial diver.
Now just working to survive a dance with Lymphoma.
Vinegar is bad - the acid dissolves calcium carbonate and destroys the shell's finish. Alkaline solutions such as bleach are better, but still don't overdo it - you will damage them if they soak too long.
Putting them in the sun is also a bad idea, unless you want the shells to become white like the ones on the beach!
If the shells weren't quite dead yet when she picked them up, there'll be loads of nasty rotting snail meat inside that will really stink. If it's dried up already, it's next to impossible to pick it out so the best you can do is try to locate some really hungry ants who are smaller and stronger than you are. Otherwise, the smell will go away in a couple of months if you're patient enough to store them in a dry place (but don't get them wet again or it'll return with a vengeance).
I love collecting shells and have a lot of them. I wash them with freshwater and a soap. Then - as H2Andy proposed - I put them on the sun.
But remember - shells taken from the water loose their colors. To get the colors back I paint them with transparent lacquer. In fact the best one is transparent nail polish!!!! If you don't do it the other solution is to keep the shells in water - but it means a lot of trouble. So polishing them is the only way to get the colors back - at least the only one I came up with.
After that they are ready to be a part of house decoration.
And they do look nice!