CHICAGO (CBS) — Imagine losing a child, then having every physical memory of him stolen from you–his baby pictures, birth certificate, even his death certificate.

It happened to a couple moving to Chicago. But as CBS 2’s Mai Martinez reports, this story took an unexpected twist.

After a public appeal, the items were returned.

Stew and Rita Skomra were reunited with items they thought they’d never see again, including precious pictures of their son Trent who died in June.

The pictures along with everything the couple had in a U-Haul trailer were stolen during an overnight stay in Omaha, Neb.

GPS devices installed help the couple track the trailer, but by then it had been emptied of the items they longed for most.

“We lost his death certificate,” Stew says. “We lost his letter jacket. We lost the 25 years of home family videos.

Fearing they’d never seen the items again, the couple made a public plea. All they wanted were the memories of their son.

The plea worked. A week later, after being arrested for trying to cash the couple’s stolen bonds, Chad Franco confessed to dumping some of the trailer’s items in a muddy ravine.

Several Omaha police officers climbed down the ravine to retrieve them.

The next day, they were back where they belonged–with the Skomras.

“It’s priceless,” said Rita Skomra. “I mean this is what I wanted.”

“The police department in Omaha, I couldn’t thank them enough,” said her husband.

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