Search is on to find owner of missing briefcase full of family photos left in a Syracuse park

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The search is on to find the owner of a briefcase full of family photos and history that was left behind at a Syracuse city park.

The treasure was found by Dimitri Romanenko on Saturday evening at Elmwood Park on Glenwood Avenue while enjoying a walk with his girlfriend and dog.

“We parked, walked the length of the park and let the dog swim at the deep ends of the creek. Then, we came back and I saw a briefcase sticking out of the garbage can,” Romanenko said.

He couldn’t believe what he discovered inside. The briefcase was full of hundreds of decades-old family photos, letters and precious memories.

” I couldn’t imagine why it was in the trash,” — Dimitri Romanenko

Immediately, Romanenko knew he wanted to reunite the briefcase with its rightful owner. So, he took it home.

The first thing that I wanted to do was get exposure somewhere, the Strathmore Facebook page or the Syracuse History Instagram. I immediately started spreading them all out. I tried to find the biggest space possible because there are probably about 500 pictures there. I started recognizing faces and who’s in a lot of the pictures, who can be sisters or who the the parents are.

Dimitri Romanenko, founder of briefcase

After studying every picture, letter and document, he pieced together this family’s story.

Romanenko believes the items belong to Geraldine Neary and Robert “Bob” Hunt or their relatives, and he’s hoping this lost treasure can make its way back home.

“I’d just love for them to come get it. I would love to see it back in the family’s possession and for them to enjoy,” he said.

If you know the owner or relatives of the family, you can send Dimitri Romanenko an email at or you can call NewsChannel 9 directly at (315) 446-9999.

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