VAN NUYS (CBSLA.com) — A Van Nuys mother got a big surprise Saturday when a precious baby book she presumed was lost by an airline three months ago was returned to her doorstep.
“I had really given up hope of anything from that carry-on being returned,” the woman, Tracy Cassella, said.
It all started in January, when Cassella was traveling with her 1-year-old daughter Francesca and her husband to see family on the East Coast.
On her flight back to LAX, the airline asked if she would check her bag at the gate due to a lack of space in the plane’s overhead areas, and Cassella agreed, even as she worried about the priceless items she had packed to show her family, such as a wedding album, her daughter’s baby book and a stuffed bear given to Cassella when she was a baby.
Arriving at LAX only to find those items were not waiting at baggage claim was devastating.
“Why did I trust strangers with something so precious to me?” she said to CBS2’s Kristine Lazar at the time. “I know it seems weird for a 37-year-old to be crying over, you know, something like that, but I had that bear forever and he means a lot to me.”
Cassella said she had been calling the airline incessantly, and eventually settled with them to compensate for her lost items.
So she was shocked to see her homes’ surveillance footage showing an unidentified woman arriving by minivan and leaving the precious keepsake on her doorstep.
The woman left no note or other clues as to the whereabouts of Cassella’s other belongings.
“I’m not mad,” Cassella said. “I’m grateful. I’m curious where they found and where the other stuff might possibly be found.”
Cassella believes the woman tracked her down by using the address on an envelope that was in the baby book.