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Stockton Police, Genealogy Expert Hope They Can Return Found Keepsakes To Family

STOCKTON (CBS13) — Officers are trying to find the rightful owner or family of a stash of World War II-era photos and letters discovered in Stockton this week.

On Tuesday, officers found more than 150 photographs and letters, a  Stockton Police Department spokesperson said.

"These are photos but, there also precious moments captured in time," said Officer Rosie Calderon, a Stockton Police Department Community Service Officer.

The items were found by a Community Service Officer after a call for service on St. Andrews Drive on Tuesday.

"What we know is that a male subject abandoned a bag -- probably didn't see any value in it," Calderon said.

The find included a three-page love letter addressed to Mary Ellen Driscoll.

Officers say it appeared the woman also used the names of Williams, Metcalf, Bohannon, Henderson, and Andrews.

Police are now looking for the family of the woman, whose photos were posted to the police department's Facebook page.

"They really appreciated them. So I think returning them would be something that would make them really happy," Calderon said.

One of those people who commented on the department's Facebook post about the find was Traci Gregg who is doing her part in helping to find Mary's family members.

"I have experience of finding people with similar situations," Gregg said.

Gregg told CBS13 that she's been doing genealogy for 20 years.

"I've reunited a lot of adoptees and birth families. And, doing genealogy, I've even found some people in my own family I didn't know existed," Gregg said.

She hopes to use her skills to get Mary and her family these memories back.

"It would just be a piece of the puzzle that the family would have. And, you know, hopefully, they're the kind that want to pass it down for their generations," Gregg said.

They're words on a page and moments lasting forever that some hope to get back into the family's hands.

"It feels good to locate items that probably would have been thrown in the garbage or destroy and to hopefully get them back to their rightful owner or her family," Calderon said.

Anyone who recognizes Mary or knows of any of her family members is urged to call Stockton police at (209) 937-8377.

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