A Huber Heights woman says she is the girl pictured in a photo found in Harrison Twp. following the Memorial Day tornadoes.
But Deborah Miller says she does not know who owned the copy of her 1973 Patterson Co-Op High School senior photo that was found after the tornadoes.
“It is kind of weird,” Miller said. “If it is a friend, I don’t know who that friend is.”
Miller said she suspects the photo Harrison Twp. resident Nicole Johnson found in her front yard Tuesday, May 28 while surveying storm damage could possibly belong to a second cousin who lives in Trotwood.
He is the only one of her family members who suffered serious damage in the tornadoes.
Miller — Deborah Garrett in high school — learned of the hunt for the photo’s owner from her sister, Maribett Decker.
Decker’s daughter, Bellamy Decker, saw a story about the photo within 13 minutes of it being posted on Dayton.com’s Facebook page and alerted her family.
“We were all surprised to see that pop up on the Internet,” Bellamy Decker said.
A Facebook group, Tornado Personal Effects Reunion Page, has been set up to help victims find their lost treasures in the tornadoes’ aftermath.
*** First report: (1:02 p.m. Monday, June 03, 2019): Do you know Deborah ‘73? Good Samaritan seeking the owner of photo found after tornado
A perfectly dry photo of a bright-eyed teenage girl was found blown against a window near Nicole Johnson’s front door last Tuesday morning on Brookhill Lane in Harrison Twp., Montgomery County.
“We were in the path of the tornado and experienced damage, but not to our home. We were blessed. Just a lot of downed trees and debris,” Johnson told this news organization. “This pic had to come from someone’s home that experienced more loss than we did. This is a family photo for someone. I don’t know if it’s important to them, but if it were me, it would be. I just want it to be back with the family it belongs to.”
Johnson does not know the identity of the girl in the wallet-size photo embossed with the words “Deborah ‘73” in gold.
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There are no other clues on the front or back of the now soiled photo that Johnson discovered while she and her family surveyed damage to their property in the wake of the Memorial Day tornadoes.
Deborah’s photo is among the mountain-size pile of memories uprooted from homes and businesses during the 15 tornadoes that ripped through the Miami Valley.
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A Celina man lost his life and many in the area are still without power, access to drinkable water or safe shelter.
Other artifacts from the destructive night were found in Johnson’s yard, including children’s stickers and wallpaper.
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“It’s heartbreaking,” she said.