Missing Camera Returns Memories of Dad

A stranger's act of kindness reunites a woman and her father, who recently died.

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Shannon LeBlanc was returning to her Hillcrest office from lunch and noticed a homeless man snapping pictures of her on a new digital camera. Naturally she asked "why?" and learned the man had just found it earlier that morning and was planning to sell it for big bucks.
"It just really stinks to lose a camera and memories and pictures, so I just felt compelled to find the owner of that camera" said LeBlanc, who offered the man 20 bucks for it. He tried to bargain for $40, but after a few seconds settled for the original offer. Now she had the camera but no idea how to find its owner.
LeBlanc's only hope of finding the owner was to start looking through the pictures and hope she could use them as clues. "It was the same girl in a lot of the pictures, so I knew it was her camera," said the good Samaritan turned detective. "And I found the 'bingo!' which was a picture inscribed in the sand here in San Diego -- 'Maggie loves Louis' -- so I knew the couple's names." There were also pictures from a UNLV game. LeBlanc figured her mystery camera owner was a Nevada resident but had no luck with Google, MySpace and Facebook searches for "Maggie" and "UNLV."
Her big break came when she asked for detective help from her roommate, who just so happens to work for the San Diego Police Department. The pair examined the recent pictures and got their big break. It was a picture of Maggie at a restaurant, and the menu was visible. The restaurant was downtown San Diego's Greystone Steakhouse.
Not only did the steakhouse have a reservation under "Maggie," it still had her cell phone number. LeBlanc left a message and got a call back within minutes. "She asked if she could get sappy with me for a second, and I said sure, and she said I'm out to dinner with my mom and some of my other family members, because tonight would've been my parents 27th wedding anniversary," LeBlanc said.
"Well, the thing about it is, my dad just died a little over a month ago, and my last pictures with him were on the camera," Flynn told LeBlanc.
Today, the pair are Facebook friends and have even talked on the phone a few times, but they've each taken great pleasure in recounting the story with friends. Flynn sttill can't believe someone would take the time and effort to do such a thing.
"She's great," Flynn said. "There's not many nice people out there who would go out of their way to do that; they would just take the camera and forget about it, so I'm very grateful she did that for me." "I had goosebumps" said LeBlanc, who believes there was a higher power at play. "God was involved. It was definitely meant to be that she got her camera back." Flynn's explanation is slightly different: "It was my dad."
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