CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A North Carolina woman's search for long-lost family mementos has ended happily. She was reunited with decades-old love letters her parents wrote to each other during World War II, before her father's death.
The suitcase with the initials BLH for Betty Lou Haas traveled for 70 years before it and the treasure inside finally made its way back to Linda Lou Honey, the owner's daughter.
Linda Lou's father, Army Major Lamont Haas, was killed in a mid-air collision during World War II. He and his young wife had exchanged hundreds of love letters that Linda Lou's mother shared with her as a young child, too young to remember her daddy.
But the cherished suitcase was lost after Linda Lou's mother passed away in 1987.
"Precious things, priceless things that had been found, that we had believed were hopelessly lost," said Honey.
Someone in Reno, Nev. bought the suitcase at a storage auction years ago, but realizing what was inside, they turned it over to the VA in 2009.
Robert Smith, chief of police, posted a message on the internet, found Major Haas' only living sibling in Florida, and got the suitcase to him.
But, just last month, Linda Lou's daughter also responded to that internet post, and the chief was able to not only get the suitcase into the hands of Haas' loving daughter in charlotte, but also reunite an uncle and niece that had lost contact for 42 years.
"The hole that's been in my heart that I've told my children about all of my life has somehow been made smaller today," said Honey.