Speed Reads

case closed

The power of the internet reunites a man with photo found in World Trade Center debris

After 13 years of searching, all it took was a retweet from country singer Blake Shelton to finally reunite a man with a photo found in the rubble of the World Trade Center.

Every Sept. 11, Elizabeth Keefe attempted to track down the owner of a photo her friend found in the debris showing people at a wedding. This Sept. 11, as she has before, Keefe tweeted the picture out. Once it was retweeted by Shelton, it went viral and finally someone recognized a man in the snapshot: Fred Mahe. Mahe, who worked on the 77th floor of Tower 2 as a sales account director for Thomson Financial, was also the photo's owner.

"My happiness is not that I get the picture back," Mahe told Mashable. "What I'm so psyched about is that she accomplished her task. She is the one who persisted over 13 years every 9/11 saying, 'Who are these people?'"

Mahe was exiting the subway when the first plane hit, and never made it into his office. He later moved to Denver, and was surprised this week to hear from a former co-worker who saw the tweet and recognized him. Before long, Mahe and Keefe connected.

"I felt it was such a powerful photo, and it spoke to me," Keefe told Mashable. "A wedding photo is not just an average photo. And connected to 9/11, whatever the story was, it gave me a sense of purpose to get it back to its owner."

Mahe told Keefe that the photo was taken at Christian and Christine Loredo's wedding on March 31, 2001, in Aspen. "It's pretty magic considering the tragedy of 9/11 that, knock on wood, everybody is alive and well," Christian Loredo told Mashable. Having never seen the photo before, he thought at first it was "some sort of hoax," but after talking to Mahe, Loredo realized "it's really a silver lining."