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Family reunited with photo found 115 miles away after tornado

By: Michelle Heron Email
By: Michelle Heron Email
An Eastern Kentucky family is reunited with a personal memento nearly two years after it was swept away by the March 2nd tornado.

MGN Online

WEST LIBERTY, Ky. (WYMT)- An Eastern Kentucky family is reunited with a personal memento nearly two years after it was swept away by the March 2nd tornado.

Betty Helton lost her tax service business on Main Street in the tornado that his West Liberty in 2012.

“We actually put a lot of hard work into [the business], and then you lose it,” Betty said.

Exactly one year later, she got a call from a man by the name of Jim Bess.

“He told me that he had a picture that he had found after the tornado,” Betty added.

A picture she thought she had lost in the rubble, found in a town—ironically called Tornado, West Virginia.

“He said it looked like a mother and a father and three sons,” Betty said, “I described what we were wearing and everything and what the picture looked like and he described some to me and I knew it was our picture.”

But how does someone 115 miles away find strangers in a photo? Someone with an eye for detail.

“That’s when they saw Rex’s name on the belt. They had a little trouble with the last name,” Betty added.

Jim took the picture to auctions, where he shared its story.

“There was a person from Morehead that told him to try ‘Helton’ and that there were some ‘Helton’s’ in West Liberty. That’s how he tracked us down,” Betty said.

Betty and her family recently met up with Jim and his wife and he returned the picture that turned these two strangers into friends.

Betty plans on re-hanging the picture in her new office building which is now back open for business.


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