Man reunites family with memories after finding camera in Lake Pleasant

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- A Valley couple has been reunited with thousands of precious memories thanks to one man’s kind act.

On Saturday, Rob Johnson made his way out to Lake Pleasant to take part in a diving lesson.

While he was under the water “kind of goofing around,” Johnson said he noticed a shiny glimmer that turned out to be a camera.

Johnson took the camera home with him, and wound up coming across a memory card that was full of pictures.

“I saw this real nice looking family, kids playing around, trips that they’ve gone on,” said Johnson.

Johnson wanted to return the camera and the photos to their rightful owner, so he began looking for clues.

He found a phone number in the background of one picture, but it was the name on a man’s military uniform in one photo that led Johnson to the owner of the camera.

That man was Jamie Vandermate, who said he last had his camera the second week of April when he was on a jet ski.

“All those memories were just gone," said Vandermate. “It holds 5,600 shots, and we never thought to remove them and get them off the camera.”

Thanks to Johnson’s kindness and keen detective skills, Vandermate and his girlfriend Shayla can now relive all their moments together.

“You see so much negativity, so much bad press and bad news about people doing things to other people,” said Vandermate. “I mean this isn’t going to change the world or anything like that, but it changed our world.”

Johnson said he hopes other people would have behaved similarly.

“I just hope if other people come across a situation like this, by all means, pay it forward.”