WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. — Retrieving evidence at a police station typically doesn't evoke excitement, but Tuesday's retrieval in Wheat Ridge was different.
“This was very unusual," said Joanna Small, public information officer for Wheat Ridge Police. “So unusual that the evidence tech approached me and said, 'Can we put this on social media?' ”
About six months ago, police arrested a man who was wanted on a warrant. They found property on him that they knew right away wasn’t his, but the evidence tech didn’t have the heart to throw it away.
The property included old memorabilia and photos dating back to nearly 100 years ago. Small took pictures of it all and posted it on Facebook, Instagram and NextDoor in hopes of reuniting the stuff with its rightful owners.
Thousands of comments and shares, and one day later, Cheryl Ashmore was found.
"It's overwhelming," Ashmore said. "I'm trying not to cry because I'm an ugly crier."
The photos and memorabilia are from her father’s childhood.
Wheat Ridge Police help reunite missing photos with owner through social media
Lynn Ashmore grew up on land that is now the Denver International Airport. His father moved to Colorado from Villisca, Iowa, to become a dry land farmer.
“The house was right where Terminal A is,” Ashmore said.
There are photos of the old house, a cow and even her father in overalls in sixth grade.
Ashmore didn’t know the photos were missing but suspects they were taken while she was moving.
She’s thankful they’ve been returned, and plans to scan them right away.
"It reached like 20,000 people, which is a lot for Wheat Ridge,” said Small of the social media posts.
“Are you kidding me?" Ashmore said.
It’s all in a day’s police work, with a little help from amateur internet detectives.
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