(NEW YORK) — When Lydia Hoeppner found a camera full of vacation photos in the lost-and-found at the rental car company where she works in Hawaii, she knew she had to get it back to the owners.
The bright orange camera was found by another Hertz employee who was cleaning out a rental car, she said. Hoeppner turned it on and was surprised to find over 500 pictures of a couple’s jam-packed Hawaii vacation.
“They were just a super cute couple,” Hoeppner told ABC News Sunday.
Hoeppner wanted to return the camera, so she posted one of their photos to Facebook. She picked one where the mystery man wore a Buffalo Bills t-shirt, hoping that would narrow the search.
She asked her East Coast friends to share it, and within 24 hours, she received an email from the woman in the photo.
“Somebody got the post, showed it to their friend at work, who happened to go to school with Sean… It was mind-boggling how quick it was,” she said.
The mystery couple was Sean and Cherie Wright, who live in North Carolina. But Sean Wright, who grew up near Rochester and lived in Buffalo for several years, is a big Bills fan.
He said that after he and his wife returned from a 10-day Hawaii vacation in March, they realized they were missing their camera.
“We were looking all around the house. We thought we unpacked it wrong,” Wright told ABC News Sunday. “[We] kind of gave up on it.”
Until he got a Facebook post from last week from a high school friend, sending him a link.
“I clicked on the link and there was a picture of Cherie and me. I instantly knew what that meant,” he said. “I tracked it back to Lydia’s Facebook account… She posted that message 19 hours before I saw it. It only took 19 hours to get from Hawaii to my friends from New York.”
The Wrights and Hoeppner connected via email and on Saturday Hoeppner put the camera in the mail.
Wright said he and his wife are so thankful because these were “pictures that you can’t duplicate ever again.”
“We had some awesome shots of us swimming with wild dolphins, snorkeling,” Wright said. “We thought we’d never get those back. I was floored when I found out it was going to happen.
“For Lydia to go out of her way like that… she took the extra step to find us,” he said. “And everyone wanted to help out, everyone kept sharing that photo.”
Wright also thanks the power of social media.
“Ten to 15 years ago, we’d never have that camera back,” he said.
“They’re just adorable. Classic vacationers,” Hoeppner said, adding that “It was the Bills t-shirt that really helped.”
Wright said he’ll send Hoeppner a Bills shirt or jersey as a thank-you.
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