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3 On Your Side: Lost Camera’s Mystery Owner Found

jim-donovan-web Jim Donovan
Jim Donovan is a 13-time Emmy Award-winning consumer reporter w...
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By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Did you take any photos or videos around the holidays?  They often capture moments you can’t recreate.  Now imagine if they suddenly went missing.  3 On Your Side’s Jim Donovan has a uplifting story of photos lost, that due to one couple’s efforts, are now back where they belong.

Ken and Judy Jones travel the world and take amazing photos on every trip.

“Every time you look at them, you start thinking about everything you did while you were there, the people you met,” said Judy Jones.

But after a recent tour in Ecuador they came back with more photos than expected.

“1755 pictures and videos,” said Ken Jones.

The only problem was, the photos and videos weren’t theirs!  Someone else’s camera had somehow gotten inside a side pocket of their checked luggage.

“I just can’t imagine coming home with no pictures,” said Judy.

Ken tried to figure out who the camera’s owner could be.

“I was looking was any kind of evidence whatsoever that would tell us who he was, where he was,” said Ken.

With no luck Ken reached out to 3 On Your Side.

“We really want to see him get his camera back.  We’ll FedEx it to anywhere in the world for him, we’ll pay for it. We don’t care,” said Ken.

Up for a challenge, my producer and I looked for clues.

A heart with a couple’s names drawn in the sand, company logos on several items of clothing, plus a few Google and Facebook searches led us to JuanCarlos Larrea in Kirkland, Washington. “This was amazing and kind of scary,” said JuanCarlos.

After visiting family in Ecuador, JuanCarlos flew back to the U.S. on the same flight as Jones’.

When the lock on his checked luggage was broken, the camera went missing,  somehow ending up in Ken and Judy’s suitcase.

“My grandma is 98.  I have pictures of my grandmother that I didn’t want to lose,” said JuanCarlos.

As soon as we tracked him down, Ken and Judy shipped the camera to Washington state.

“It just really touched me. It was a gift that I had no idea I could be given and not only that, but now I feel like I’ve made new friendships out of this,” said JuanCarlos.

Making it another 3 on your side problem solved.

“Thank you so much Jim and thank you guys over there.  I really appreciate all the effort,” said JuanCarlos.

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