(FOX 9) - When Lauren Hundshamer found an old steamer trunk in a St. Paul building her grandfather used to own, she quickly learned it was full of pieces from the past.
What she didn't know was that it also holds a mystery.
"I really want to find a home for this. I really want it to go to the family. So I think it's very important, and it's historical," Hundshamer told FOX 9.
Hundshamer discovered the trunk while cleaning out her grandfather's building after it was recently sold.
She believes it belonged to a man named Edward Welke, who worked for her grandfather, George Hammond, in the 1970's, and contains personal possessions from his life like letters, dog tags and discharge papers from the army, which Hundshamer would like to get to Welke's family. Except she doesn't know where they are.
"We know he died in 1982, and we know Lillian his wife died in 1976, and they were both very young when they passed away. We know he worked for my grandfather in the 1970s, and that's where the story ends," Hundshamer said.
When Lauren Hundshamer found an old steamer trunk in a St Paul building her grandfather used to own, she quickly learned it was full of pieces from the past.
Hundshamer has learned Welke and his wife were stationed in Japan after World War II, and they wanted to bring a young child named Suzie Ballard to the United States to be adopted which required congressional approval.
But she doesn't know where Suzie is, if she's still alive, or if she had any children who would want to know about their family's history.
"As a family member, I would want to touch those things and learn a little bit more about my heritage. and what my grandfather did," said Hundshamer.
Hundshamer says she's lucky she found the trunk because she is emotionally attached to her own family, and she hopes this is one mystery that will soon be solved.
"I lost my father and my grandfather is no longer with us. So to me just having these artifacts to hold on to is very, very important," Hundshamer said.