Man finds SD card full of travel photos, searches for owner - FOX 32 News Chicago

Man finds travel photos on SD card, FOX 32 fans help return to owner

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A northwest suburban man got more than he bargained for when he recently bought a pair of pants at Woodfield Mall. He stumbled upon a mystery, that FOX 32 Facebook fans helped solve.

That story starts at the H&M store in Woodfield Mall, where Adam Szalowski bought a pair of jeans several months ago. Last week, he decided to slip them on, and felt something odd in the top pocket.

"There was something in the pocket. I assumed maybe it was just a tag or something," Adam recalled. "But I was surprised to find an SD card and a piece of gum."

But he got an even bigger surprise when he plugged that SD card into his computer.

"I really didn't expect to find anything on there," he said of the find. "But when I put it in the computer I was completely blown away to find over 750 travel photos from Europe."

All over Europe, in fact. Hundreds of images from Spain, Hungary, and Poland. In many of the pictures is one guy whom Adam believes is the owner of the SD card.

"I knew how important these photos would be. It was always a dream of mine to travel to Europe and I think most people's so I know how important those pictures could be if they weren't backed up. That's when I knew I wanted to do everything I could to get these back to him," Adam explained.

Adam even did some detective work, using a reverse imaging website to track down the specific locations in the pictures. That's how he figured out St. Stephen's Basilica in Budapest, the Roman Bridge in Cordoba, Spain and the famous Charles Bridge in Prague.

But what he really wants to know is: who is this guy?

"You never know. Maybe he was from Europe," he said. "We get a lot of visitors in this area. But I'm hoping somebody knows something about who he is."

A spokesman for H&M says they do inspect all the clothing that gets returned, but he said they're just as intrigued as Adam about the mystery of the lost photo disc and they're inviting both Adam and the card's owner--if he's found--back to the store for a free pair of pants.

After FOX 32 news aired the story Tuesday night, many FOX Chicago News Facebook fans shared the story with their friends, hoping to find out if anyone recognized the man in the photos.

When a fan tagged Mark Swiderski in a comment asking if the story was about him, FOX 32 News was able to contact him and arrange for Adam and Mark to meet! He joined Good Day Chicago Wednesday morning to explain how this all came to be.

Mark said his phone blew up with phone calls, text messages and Facebook notifications after the story aired Tuesday night. The law student said he lost the SD card over a year ago, when he was studying abroad.

"I was overjoyed," Mark said.

Mark said he had a couple dozen photos from the trip uploaded to his Facebook page, but was never able to post the other photos and share them with the people he met along the way. He's grateful to Adam for giving him the chance to do that.

Mark told Good Day Chicago that he has no idea how the SD card got into the pants, and actually does not remember purchasing or returning a pair from H&M. But he jokingly said knowing how he is, he wouldn't put it past him. (H&M does want to give him a free pair, and share their story with shoppers).

A happy ending for everyone!

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