Suitcase full of family mementos found in Ocean Beach - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Suitcase full of family mementos found in Ocean Beach

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Thousands of people lose their luggage every year, but a suitcase found in Ocean Beach has a special story.

Wedding photos, a high school yearbook, and VHS tapes dating back to the 1980s are just some of the mementos Doug Kerste found inside a suitcase and cardboard box outside his Ocean Beach mechanic shop.

"This is somebody's stuff. I just didn't feel right throwing it away," Kerste said. "Baby pictures, artwork... this isn't just random stuff."

Kerste made the discovery a week and a half ago. He was in the parking lot leaving for lunch when he noticed two men in a black truck, possibly a Chevrolet Avalanche. He says one of the men got out of the vehicle, then quickly got back inside. The truck then left, and that's when Doug saw the suitcase and box on the ground.

"So curiosity gets you. You come over and take a look. What's this stuff? Personal mementos," he said.

Along with the items, Kerste found addresses in Santa Barbara, Iowa and New Mexico, as well as some phone numbers, but none of them worked. So we decided to investigate.

The name Susie Morris appeared on several items. By looking through the yearbook, we figured out she used to work at San Marcos High School. We called, but there was no response. We also found an Iowa number on a piece of paper, but it was the wrong number. We then looked up a New Mexico address left on the box. Through some online research, we found a local address linked to the New Mexico one.

Susie, 81, was in shock when we showed up. She says the items bring back special memories. As for how it all wound up in Ocean Beach, Susie says she and her partner Bob discovered Friday after we contacted them that their storage unit in La Jolla was broken into.

Either way, she's grateful.

"I can't believe that you got it. Wow," she said.

She also had a message for Doug Kerste.

"Thank you, Doug. You're a wonder. I'm so glad you did what you did," she said.

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