Ogden family reunited with lost heirlooms

Posted at 6:30 PM, Feb 14, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-14 21:19:42-05

OGDEN, Utah - After being locked away for over half a century, an Ogden family is reunited with photos and papers they didn't even know were missing.

The documents were found during a renovation project at the Kokomo Club on 25th Street in Ogden. Club owner Cindy Simone says workers found a wallet, whiskey bottles and an envelope with the photos belonging to Lillian Rector.

Simone found Rector's family, living just a few miles away. For Darrell Rector, Lillian's grandson, the find offers a new perspective on his family.

“There’s some pictures here of my uncle that I hadn't seen,” says Darrell. “There’s a picture of my dad when he was very young, and I’d never seen that before.”

Among Lillian’s documents, an original social security card, food stamp card and proof of a life insurance policy with a value today of over $250,000.

“It’s another connection,” says Lillian’s granddaughter Marilyn Lawrence. “It brings back a lot of good memories. Because when he died I was only three, so the memories are very vague.”

Simone is still looking for the family of the man who lost his wallet. The name Manuel Cano hasn't turned up any results yet, but Simone is hoping genealogical records will help get the things back to their rightful owner.

“I would love to find his family,” says Simone. “There’s a gold ring here, a 14 karat gold ring. I understand in those days it was illegal to have gold.”

This isn't the first time renovations have uncovered treasures. Simone says several years ago crews uncovered numerous wallets, a sawed off shotgun and a petrified cat.

Simone believes Rector and Cano fell victim to pick-pockets. In that era, thieves were known to grab wallets for the cash, then ditch the rest. In this case the thief tossed the wallet and envelope in a hole in the bathroom wall.

Simone speculates there may be other treasures in the walls, but says the curiosity is not enough to get her to open up the walls and look.