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Wife of avalanche victim pleads for stolen cameras to be returned

By Jed Boal | Posted - Apr. 1, 2011 at 6:37 p.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY -- A Salt Lake family who buried a loved one Friday is feeling added pain and insult after someone swiped several sentimental keepsakes.

Garrett Smith died after he was wounded in an avalanche last weekend. Now his family is eager to recover two of Smith's old cameras that were stolen at his viewing Thursday night.

Picture by Garrett Smith from his photography website, Hammers Inc. Photo.
Picture by Garrett Smith from his photography website, Hammers Inc. Photo.

"It's one of those moments where you're looking to move forward with the grieving process, and it's rubbing salt in the wound and a kick to the gut to see these things taken," said Adam Barker, Garrett's brother-in-law.

Those cameras were stolen in a smash-and-grab Thursday night. Garrett's wife, Molly, had the cameras in her car, which was parked in front of their Capitol Hill apartment on Darwin Street. They're not worth a lot of money but have great sentimental value to her, and she simply wants them back.

Garrett was a professional photographer who traveled the world to take vivid photographs of climbers and skiers.

"He was an inspiring individual," Barker says of his brother-in-law. "He was one of those people who just kept on giving."

Garrett could hike and ski into seemingly unreachable places, and capture the beauty once he got there. He started his own photography website, http://hammersinkcphoto.com, and aspired to make it a full-time career one day.

"He was just really coming into his own with his photography. He influenced a lot of people's lives," said Barker.

Garrett was a professional photographer who traveled the world to take vivid photographs of climbers and skiers.
Garrett was a professional photographer who traveled the world to take vivid photographs of climbers and skiers.

Garrett was swept away in an avalanche in Sanpete County Saturday. He and six others were skiing in the area at the time. They had decided the area was not safe and were about to leave when the slide broke and swept three of them into a deep bowl.

The two other men survived, but Garrett was buried in the snow the longest. He died from his injuries Sunday.

Garrett owned several antique or old-style cameras that he displayed on the mantel. Molly displayed them at her husband's viewing Thursday night and left them in the front seat of her car.

"Somebody smashed her window this morning or late last night and grabbed those two cameras," Barker said.

Garrett's brother-in-law is also a professional photographer and describes the cameras as large, old, point-and-shoot, Polaroid-type cameras with extended bellows.

"These are items that can't be replaced for (Molly) and really it's just heartbreaking to know that somebody took them, just to get a couple of bucks out on the street," said Barker.

The cameras don't even function, Barker said, and he thinks they'd be easy to spot. He doesn't even think they're worth much to anyone but Molly.

If you have those cameras or know who stole them, contact the police or send KSL an email so we can help return them.

Email: jboal@ksl.com

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Jed Boal

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