Did you know Lorna Rothwell Thompson? That's what Jack Elliman from Vernon, B.C., wants to know.

About 10 years ago, Elliman was clearing out an old basement at a shop he worked at in downtown Vernon and came across a box filled with old photos, jewellery and employee service pins.

It all belongs to a woman named Lorna Rothwell Thompson, and Elliman wants to give it back to her next of kin.

"The property managers, the owners, my boss, nobody had any idea," he told Radio West host Rebecca Zandbergen.

"There's some really old stuff. Some of it's from Vernon, and all over the world. Postcards, and there's some jewellery — some really, really, retro costume jewellery. And then there's some really ancient expensive jewellery. Diamonds and gold and such."

Elliman says he tried to find the owner 10 years ago, but had no luck. Local museums couldn't help and internet searches yielded nothing. But now that social media has developed so much in the past 10 years, he's giving it another shot.

He did get some clues when local media ran a story about his find. He was even able to find wedding and death certificates.

"It looks like she went to the States and never had children. It's really unfortunate," he said. "I was really hoping it was going to lead to some offspring but it doesn't seem like we're finding anybody.

Elliman also found 10 and 20-year service pins for the General Petroleum Company in the box.

He says he has made some progress on the mystery — he has a lead on potential friends and a niece in the U.S.

Elliman says solving the mystery, one way or another, would be very satisfying.

"It would be awesome. It would be the end of a long mission fulfilled," he said. "I know if I was in this situation or I was presented a box of old pictures of my family … I would be ecstatic."

You can check out some photos of the mystery box on Elliman's company Facebook page.


To hear the full story, click the audio labelled: Vernon man seeks owners of mysterious box of photos, jewellery, more