PERRYVILLE, Missouri — Families whose homes were destroyed in the tornado have found their mementos scattered across state lines, KMOV reported.
After a family’s treasured paintings were whisked away in the Perryville tornado, the family assumed they were gone for good; that is until they were discovered nearly 40 miles away in Jackson County, Illinois.
Ever since the sun rose after the deadly Perryville tornado, residents in southern Illinois have been finding mementos and personal belongings from the tornado victims. In an effort to find the rightful owners, people posted messages on Facebook about the items that were found.
Sue Spencer’s home was destroyed in the tornado. She was not home at the time of the tornado because she is in Chicago recovering from hip surgery. Volunteers have spent the day digging through the rubble of what is left of her home. They searched for mementos like jewelry and family photos. As an artist, she has painted pictures and family portraits for years. After losing everything, Spencer’s family did not know what would be found in the rubble. At least two of her portraits were found miles away in the Campbell Hill area of Jackson County, Illinois.
“Friends from nearby saw [the photos of belongings on social media] and started getting hold of us… phones ringing non-stop…things being found across the river,” said Duncan Hahs.
The woman who found the portraits is planning on delivering them to the family. Hahs said someone found letters belonging to him in Illinois as well.
“[They’re] letters I wrote my wife when we weren’t together a long period of time.”
The letters are crinkled but otherwise dry and intact. Lots of memories were swept away in the tornado, but a stranger who found the letters were returned by a stranger.
First Baptist Church in Perryville has set up a lost and found for anyone who finds items they believe may have been swept away in the tornado.