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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Camera, owners reunite at last

    By Lee Cataluna

     • Quest for camera's owner continues

    Tonight, Marie Kwiatkowski will get the happy ending she was hoping for. She will meet Kathryn and Jake and their twins, owners of the camera Kwiatkowski found in the Kailua Foodland parking lot the people she has been trying to find for months.

    Kwiatkowski had made valiant attempts to return the lost digital camera that held hundreds of photos of the babies dating from the day they were born up through their first birthday. She took out lost-and-found ads in the newspaper, left her contact information at Foodland. A story in last Friday's paper that included an image from the camera finally solved the mystery.

    At 6:30 Friday morning, someone was pounding on the door at Kathryn and Jake's house. It was a neighbor, flush with excitement, saying something about camera, babies, husband, newspaper.

    "I was completely floored, especially after I read about Marie's extensive efforts to reunite me with my camera," said Kathryn, who asked that their last name not be used. "I was amazed that the camera had survived, since the day that I lost it was miserably rainy and wet. I was also amazed that Marie had cared enough to look for me so diligently a total stranger!"

    Kwiatkowski had even made copies of the photos with the attending doctor and nurse at the twins' birth and took those pictures to local hospitals to see if she could track down the family. Turns out, the babies were born in Arizona.

    On her end, Kathryn had been back to Foodland Kailua twice to see if anyone had returned a lost camera. She also made a report at the police station.

    "I had backed up the photos on the same morning that I lost the camera. But there were five or six shots that were taken that day, which I thought I had lost forever. Those missing shots were particularly special because my mom was in them. She was visiting from the Mainland."

    But her greater concern was that the pictures would end up in the wrong hands.

    "When I first lost it, I was devastated and anxious about the prospect of a total stranger having access to photos of our children and images of personal family moments. To know that the camera was in Marie's hands all that time was a huge relief. ... I am thankful that the camera ended up in the hands of someone who appreciated how much the images meant to us."