Woman finds old photos hidden inside luggage from thrift store

Posted at 8:02 PM, Feb 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-24 22:33:10-05

MUSKEGON, Mich. -- A woman in Muskegon County set out with the goal of finding a good deal at a nearby thrift shop but found more than she bargained for.

After buying an old piece of luggage, the woman found a couple pictures left inside one of the pockets. The pictures are believed to be more than 50 years old, and now she wants to find who they belong to.

"I brought this home, and I was cleaning it out, and inside the pocket here I found this," said Chris Middlecamp, holding two pictures, one showing a young woman and another showing a soldier.

"We believe this picture is older because of the type of paper that it's on," said Middlecamp. "So we originally thought maybe boyfriend/girlfriend, but now we are thinking maybe mother/son."

Middlecamp took it upon herself to conduct some quick research, trying to identify clues hidden in the photos.

"We also believe this is a German soldier," said Middlecamp. "We kind of Googled and looked up that he has a German hat, German uniform."

The Muskegon Rescue Mission Thrift Store said that workers typically search inside donated merchandise and throw away anything left behind.

"We just don't have the man hours to go through and try to identify and try to figure out who it might have come from," said Middlecamp.

The store is happy to hear Middlecamp is dedicating her time to try to locate the family where these pictures came from.

Middlecamp believes the previous owner of the suitcase didn’t intend to turn in the photos in along with it. She said that maybe the piece of luggage was left over from an estate sale, and relatives of this unknown woman and soldier, might be able to help answer questions that remain unanswered.

"I would love to find their owners," said Middlecamp. "These folks have to have children, grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, possibly ones that may have never met them."

Middlecamp said that she will also happily give back the suitcase to the relatives of the unidentified people in the photos.