The confusion began in the frantic moments after the New York Giants won Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Two fans asked Mary Ellen McFaul, a schoolteacher from New York, to take their picture using a digital camera.
McFaul obliged, but then, she says, one of the men "asked me to take another photo on his [cellphone] camera because all of the shots he was taking were dark."
The second picture was more to his liking and he quickly collected his phone and disappeared. Outside the stadium, minutes later, McFaul realized the original camera was still in her bag.
When the stadium "lost and found" couldn't help, she decided to take her friendly quest to the masses, posting the original (and well-lit, it turns out) picture of the men online; opening a Gmail account to receive tips; and even making a YouTube video with a collection of other photos taken off the camera.
But nothing worked. No one responded. Until this morning, when McFaul woke up to this email:
Hi: My son just left me a voicemail about seeing a piece on the local ABC Chicago news about a camera I lost @ the Super Bowl! I have been pulling my hair out trying to find it…calling the Lucas Stadium lost and found every day hoping it would turn up….and can't believe this news! It's a Samsung, silver digital. I'm out in California now for work, but have attached a photo of my son and I taken at the game…and I will bet it was you who took it w/my cell phone, b/c the camera photos kept coming out too dark :)
My name is Tom McGee, I live in Oak Park, IL.
Tom McGee can be seen in the pictures above and below wearing a blue, Giants hooded sweatshirt next to his son, Chris, who left that message for his dad this morning. Neither saw the WLS piece, but Chris woke up today with a full voice mailbox and a Facebook page overflowing with messages.
The next step is returning the camera, which McFaul says she plans to do in person. "It's not that I don't trust the post office," she said, "but I want to be sure."
McGee's other son lives in New York and will meet up with McFaul for the long-awaited delivery.