The Los Angeles International Airport Police Department’s social media plan to reunite a lost wedding album with its happy couple worked.
“Basically, a friend of theirs in Northern California saw a feed on a post on Facebook and contacted both us and the owners of the album,” LAX police Officer Rob Pedregon said.
Airport police officers posted a photo of the couple and their album on their Facebook page and Twitter account following a year of efforts to find its owners. The album was discovered in a black briefcase left behind at the Tom Bradley International Terminal on Sept. 14, 2014.
“We knew it was something special,” Pedregon said.
The album showed it belonged to Safiullah Jabar Khil and his bride, Halimi, who were married March 12, 2012 at the Qasr e Oranus Wedding Hall in Kabul, Afghanistan. Airport police officers tried to contact the photographer, but the distance, communication and distrust on the other end did not result in success.
Police decided to post photos and information to social media so they could be shared again and again. After posting the information to the Internet and attracting some media attention, Pedregon received a call from the owners.
“They were just ecstatic,” Pedregon said. “They couldn’t believe we actually had it.”
The couple, it turned out, flew into Los Angeles International Airport from Afghanistan on Emirates Airlines but lost a bag in the process. They filed a claim for the lost bag but never heard another word. They never thought to contact LAX’s lost and found.
The couple asked police not to disclose much about them, other than that they live in Northern California. Pedregon said he hopes airport police can hold a media event sometime soon to hand the album back to the owners in front of cameras for a feel-good story reporters want to tell.
“It’s going to be anti-climactic if we mail it,” Pedregon said. “And truth is, the media is kind of hammering us.”
Pedregon said he did not know the couple’s story about moving to the United States. The couple declined to immediately talk to the media, but expressed gratitude.
“He was telling me he was so grateful and fortunate to be in this country from Afghanistan,” Pedregon said. “They wanted their wedding album, but that was secondary to them wanting to be here.”