Facebook search for family in photos leads to Midstate - abc27 WHTM

Facebook search for family in photos leads to Midstate

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Jamie Allport lives in British Columbia, Canada with her husband and two sons and has lots of family photos.

In fact, she's a professional photographer who shot a wedding in Jamaica in April 2012.

While there, she found a memory card from a camera in the grass, tossed it in her camera bag and forgot about it. That is until recently, when she looked at the photos and saw a young family, much like her own.

"Photos mean so much to me, I can't even explain it," Allport said via Skype Wednesday afternoon. "I picture these people losing this little boy's first year, and it really breaks my heart. It touches me deeply. I need to get these pictures back to them."

Jamie pored over the photos and found clues that led her to the Midstate. The mom and little boy were riding in a wagon in what appears to be a pumpkin patch. The wagon has the words "Lancaster, Pennsylvania" on the side.

A J.B. Dawson's restaurant is in the background of another photo. The restaurant has four locations, including one in Lancaster.

Jamie went cyber with her sleuthing and posted a few pictures on Facebook. Lots of folks are now on the case and have offered tips and suggestions on the social media site.

"I've become a bit obsessed," Jamie admits. "Every time I log onto my Facebook account I'm waiting for that message that says, 'It's us, it's us, thank you so much.' "

Jamie feels she's close to finding the mystery family and hopes to by Christmas. She said her husband works for an airline, and she may even fly back to personally return the memory card.

But Jamie's search couldn't have happened a decade ago. Her hunt has taken her from British Columbia to Jamaica to the Midstate with the click of a mouse from the comfort of her house. In many ways, the world's been reduced to the size of a computer screen.

"Your neighborhood used to be your block and maybe a block around," said Charles Palmer, an associate professor of New Media at Harrisburg University. "But now really the neighborhood is anyone we're connected to. So think of your Facebook contacts and their contacts; your neighborhood is really the continent or the world."

Jamie says the Facebook response has been overwhelming. "I'm getting messages from New York and Georgia, it's like wildfire. It's really exciting to see how many people are reaching out to help find this family."

Jamie says she has about 146 photos but is only posting six. She's trying to balance the family's privacy while also trying to identify them.

You can view the pictures on her Facebook page HERE.

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