KXLY4 viewers help reunite Bonners Ferry man with old family photos
SPOKANE, Wash. — A mystery that started at a Spokane grocery store has been solved in just about eight hours — all thanks to help from KXLY4 viewers. Early Tuesday morning, Sergio DeLeon found a beat up cardboard liquor box filled with old family photos in the alley behind his grocery store, DeLeon Foods.
It turns out, those photos belong to Pete Leonard, a Purple Heart veteran from Bonners Ferry. He told KXLY4 his friends were watching the news last night and reached out to him over Facebook to let him know his photos were found when they saw the story on Nightside.
“Well the way it came down was really strange,” Leonard said. “[They] said ‘hey, get ahold of KXLY you guys got pictures in Spokane!’ and I thought, ‘why would we have pictures in Spokane?'”
Leonard said the photos hold a special place in his heart. They show his sisters, his mom and dad, and even photos from his days working as a plumber in Spokane.
“[The] value to us is pretty, you know, pretty significant,” Leonard said. “It’s not apart of your history, it’s apart of mine. So, you know, they’re valuable to me for that reason.”
Leonard and DeLeon met at the grocery store Wednesday. They watched the security footage from the alley behind the store and saw a biker drive up, unload the box, sift through it, then drive away without taking anything.
“I’m glad the guy didn’t rip the pictures up or throw ’em on the ground.,” Leonard said. “[They] thought they’d scored a big hit and who knows? All they got was me.”
Leonard and DeLeon thumbed through all the old photos and reflected on the odd circumstances that brought them together.
“It gave me goosebumps when I saw Pete,” DeLeon said. “It was very touching that it was actually him.”
Leonard made the three-hour trip from Bonners Ferry with his wife to get the pictures. He’s not exactly sure how they ended up in Spokane, but he won’t be letting them out of his sight.
“We’re going to get them all sorted out and stuck in albums and back where they belong,” Leonard said.
Leonard gave DeLeon two cassette tapes — Papas and Mamas and Reba McIntire — as a reward.
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