Prior to his big move in 2015 that would take him from the Midwest to Pasadena, California, Eric Hilgart wanted a second cell phone. He found one one on Craigslist, albeit a 175-mile drive west.
The Marshfield, Wisconsin man traveled to Minneapolis to buy the used smart phone. Hilgart soon made a discovery while playing with his new device.
Although it had been reset, the phone housed wedding photos. The album was identified only as "Len and Meg's." Hilgart suspected the pictures had been taken earlier that year.
He took to Reddit, hoping to reunite the picture album with the married couple. Hilgart's 2015 quest ended futilely after Reddit's watchdogs mistakenly flagged the post as a missing persons case and swiftly had it scrubbed from the website.
More than two years later, Hilgart decided to make another attempt. Instead of posting under a Reddit photo category, he tried the "Minneapolis" subReddit.
"People are nicer in Minneapolis than the general population," says Hilgart. "I thought they might be more willing to help."
"Found SD Card with 'Len and Meg's' Wedding Photos from 2 years ago," read his post that went up early Tuesday morning. "[T]rying to reunite with owner. No luck on /r/pics two years ago. Found in Minneapolis."
Hilgart's intuition proved correct. Folks reading the Minneapolis subReddit went straight into sleuth mode. From the pictures that accompanied the post, someone ID'd the setting for the wedding to be Lansu Garden in Portland, Oregon.
Sure enough. Len and Meg had become Mr. and Mrs. Gotter in the garden way back in 2011.
Reddit detectives passed along the intel to Hilgart, who reached to Lenny via online messaging.
"I am guessing that was my mother's SD card as she lives in Minneapolis," Gotter would respond on Reddit. "I have all the photos here, so feel free to erase it."
It was a bit of anticlimactic ending, Hilgart says, but the way the story unfolded, "I must admit, that is gosh-darned cool!"
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