Decades-old family photos inspires a stranger to find their rightful owners

TYRONE, Ga. -- At a Goodwill store in Tyrone, Georgia, you'll find, among other things, Kristie Baeumert on her weekly hunt for hidden treasure.

She recently picked up a vintage projector for $15, discovering a family's old slides.

"I looked at it as soon as I got in the car and I could see that they were family pictures," she said.

The slides started to tell a story. There were smiling girls and a woman who dressed to the nines.

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Kristie Baeumert.

CBS News

"I love these pictures, I feel like I know this family at this point," Baeumert said.

She believes they may have been a military family, since the children are often pictured with white friends during an era of racial division.  

"Maybe they were stationed together and that's how they became friends and were hanging out and taking pictures of one another," she said.

Baeumert posted on Facebook, hoping someone might recognize them, and the post has been shared more than 1,000 times.

"I've heard from people from all over the world at this point," she said.

So far, the clues point to the early 1960s, and the box for the slides has one word: Kansas. But those smiling faces remain a mystery.

"I really hope that I get that moment to hand them over," Baeumert said.

Because she now knows she did find hidden treasure, and someone out there might know who it belongs to.