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SALT LAKE CITY — A Homeland Security put his skills as a special agent to return invaluable photos of a girl's deceased grandmother.
David Nieland of Florida, a law enforcement special investigations agent for Homeland Security, was hiking during a family vacation in North Carolina in November when he noticed something glimmering by a brook. He picked up a memory card — the copper on the plastic card had caught the sun's light — and later uploaded the files to a computer.
The card, lost three years earlier by the Fisher family, contained family photos.
Nieland sifted through the pictures for clues that would help him return the card to its rightful owner. This summer, a stranger had helped his family by returning his father's lost high school diploma after finding it in a garbage truck.
Nieland's lead came in the form of an elementary school insignia on a young girl's shirt. He was able to trace it back it to a school in Pickens, South Carolina and a teacher recognized Mackenzie Fisher from some of the pictures on the card.
The card contained the only copies of some of their photos, including many of the girl's grandmother — "Nana — who died from cancer more than a year ago.
"She didn't like to have her picture made, so we don't have many of her when she got cancer,'' Ashley Fisher, Mackenzie's mother, told NBC.
The computer containing copies of the photos had crashed and lay in pieces at the Fisher home.
"Thank you, David,'' Mackenzie Fisher said on NBC. "Without you, we couldn't have found these pictures, and these do mean a lot to me.''