Lost treasure: Woman searches for AF cadet after finding picture frame


 A woman who bought an antique trunk from Goodwill had no idea it had a treasure inside. Now, she wants to get that treasure back to its rightful owner, who she suspects is a member of the U.S. Air Force.

“It’s like a timeline of his life all in one frame,” said Karla Morales. 

The pictures capture everything from his days as a toddler, to his time in little league and his graduation from the Air Force Academy.

“When I saw it, what went through my head was, the treasure chest — it’s value — was not as important as the picture frame,” Morales said.

But who ‘he’ is, is a mystery. Morales bought the antique chest from Goodwill in Santa Fe a few months back. She had no idea there was something special inside.

“This treasure chest had a false bottom,” Morales explained. “I looked at the false bottom and then this picture frame was upside down.”

When Morales saw the pictures, she knew she needed to find the owner.

“He probably either died for our country or he definitely fought for our country,” she said.

She believes his last name is Hyde.

“I noticed he had a dog,” Morales said. “He’s a rock climber like me so I noticed we had a couple of things in common.”

From the pictures, it looks like he graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1987.

Veterans know how meaningful these images are.

“A picture is worth, like they say, a lot of words,” said Jim Wisniewski.

Wisniewski is trying to help Morales find the man in the pictures.

“A picture of you in uniform and with your family, it means a lot,” Wisniewski said. “Not only to you, but also with your family ’cause it could’ve been the last picture of you with your family.”

Wisniewski is getting the word out through his connections. Morales just hopes it works. 

“My goal is to reunite this with the family members,” she said. “Hopefully they’re still alive. Maybe he’s still alive so I can shake his hand and thank him for fighting for our country.”

KRQE News 13 reached out to the Air Force Academy. They too, are trying to solve this mystery.  

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