Man recovers stolen car, along with mysterious box of heirlooms

An Albuquerque man had his car stolen, something not so uncommon these days, but what was found inside of the car when it was recovered has him going back generations to find the “perfect” family. Sam Porter said it may seem a little odd that he’s grown attached to a family he doesn’t know, all while going through their photos and letters that he found in a box.

“I’ve kind of fallen in love with the grandmother. She wrote the sweetest letters to her kids,” Porter said. “I know whoever lost this is just absolutely heartbroken.”

He’s learned a few things in the process, but what he really hoped to find were more clues. “I know where they lived, where they moved…,” he said. “More details that give me another clue as to where to look, how to find who their descendants are.”

Porter said his wife’s car was stolen nearly three weeks ago and recovered over the weekend. It had been wrecked and completely trashed. Porter said he was given the “okay” by police to look through it on Monday. Inside he found clothes, tools, drugs and a box.

“Recognized immediately that these were somebody’s heirloom and that they were irreplaceable, and I just thought that if I left them in the car, they’re going to wind up discarded forever,” he said. 

Inside were dozens of photos that date back to 1870. It also had some letters and notes, even a marriage license. “This couple, the last name is Burgess,” he said. “They were married in 1926.”

Porter can easily see there’s a history of love in this family, and he wants to pass it down to the current generation. “Hopefully this saves a lot of research and we just find out because somebody…because they saw it or a friend saw it,” Porter said. “If not, we’ll still get to the bottom of it. I’ll find out.”

If you have any information about these photos or who they may belong to, email KRQE News 13’s Marissa Lucero at She will put you in contact with Sam Porter. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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