May 10, 2014 11:02:03 PM
PASS CHRISTIAN -- About four months after Hurricane Katrina ripped through South Mississippi and devastated much of Pass Christian, Michael Malley was doing debris cleanup and came across a somewhat soggy -- but still intact -- photo album.
"I was fishing through some trash and just happened to see it, so I picked it up," he said of the day he found the album near St. Paul Cemetery. "It was on the ground all covered up, so I took it and put it in my truck."
It wasn't just any photo album, the pictures were of a young couple's wedding day, and the Malley family vowed to do what they could to find the owners.
"We lost a lot of photos in the storm, a lot of videos of our children, too," said Gabrielle Malley, Michael Malley's wife. "We just want to be able to give that back to someone."
Like many in Pass Christian, the Malley family's home was completely destroyed by the hurricane. They moved into a FEMA trailer and then into a house, with the wedding album accompanying them always.
"I've been carrying that book around for almost eight years now," Michael Malley said.
He took a few of the wedding pictures to local banks. He asked shoppers in Rite Aid if they recognized the couple. He's even asked people just walking down the street if anyone in the photos looked familiar, but after years of searching he's still had no luck.
The photos of the wedding ceremony appear to be taken on the Gulf Park campus of the University of Southern Mississippi in Long Beach, and the reception was held at the VFW Hall in Long Beach.
"They got married in Long Beach, and I found the book in the Pass, so I thought they'd be from around here somewhere," Michael Malley said.
"I thought someone would definitely have recognized them by now," his wife said.
The family took to social media in April, and Pass Christian High School junior Victoria Malley shared a photo from the album on Facebook. Soon, it had been shared more than 11,000 times.
"It was a lot of people that I didn't know sharing it," Victoria Malley said. "I didn't expect that."
After years of searching off and on and even with the help of the Internet, the Malleys still have the photos.
"We just want them to get their pictures back," Gabrielle Malley said. "We lost tons of pictures, so we just want to know who it belongs to."
1. Air Force Base receives best-ever inspection rating in 2017 COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
2. Courage and class: New Hope teacher uses her breast cancer fight to impart life lessons COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
3. Winning Market Street artist overcomes heavy odds COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
4. Tabernacle shooting suspect nabbed in Tennessee COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
5. Starkville works to improve cash monitoring after Parks embezzlement STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY