HANSVILLE, Wash. - A woman who bought a used purse at a Silverdale thrift store discovered it came with thousands of family memories that weren't hers.
"I couldn't believe it," said Sydnee Robanske, sitting at the computer of her home in Hansville. "This is somebody's memories. Their special moments. Do they know it's missing?"
Sydnee found a flash drive that had worked its way through a small hole in the liner of the purse.
She plugged it into her laptop, "and all the photos popped up. I knew I would be really upset if I was missing or had misplaced so many valuable photos."
Sydnee decided immediately she would make it her mission to find the owner of that flash drive, though she's been careful not to look at too many pictures out of concern for the family's privacy.
"Maybe they don't know that they lost it. Maybe they still think they have it. Maybe they wouldn't want people going through all their photos," Sydnee said. "I mean they're still intimate, personal photos. They're not mine."
The flash drive holds more than 2,300 photos, of weddings and baby showers. Family reunions and vacations. There are also pictures showing flooded streets and other scenes of weather damage from the Philippines from 2009.
Sydnee has posted the story of how she found the flash drive and some of the photos on Facebook. She contacted the Kitsap Sun newspaper, and called KOMO's Problem Solvers.
"I'm hoping the more publicity this gets, the greater the chance somebody recognizes the pictures and gets in touch with me," she said.
Sydnee will take good care of the flash drive until she can reunite the pictures with their rightful owner.
"It would just, my own feelings. I would feel happy that I got it back to them."