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Posted on Fri, Mar 16, 2012 : 1:48 p.m.

Lost wedding photo blown into gutter by Dexter tornado

By Nathan Bomey

(See full coverage of the Dexter tornado.)

A wedding photo scattered by a storm still radiates joy.

A photo showing a beaming bride and groom walking down the aisle at the conclusion of an outdoor wedding apparently was whisked into a gutter by the tornado that struck Dexter on Thursday.


This wedding photo was found in a gutter on Ulrich Street, scattered by the tornado.

Photo courtesy of the Waidley family

The photo, which is sprinkled with dirt but otherwise shining, found its way into the hands of a Dexter family who is trying to find its owner.

"We don't have a clue who they are," said Monica Waidley, who lives with her family in the Huron Farms subdivision, which was devastated by the tornado. Monica's daughter, Tori, found the photo on Ulrich Street.

"It's just crazy — the stuff we're picking up out of our yard," Monica said. "There's tons of one-inch pieces of somebody's life laying around in our yard."

UPDATE 2:41 p.m.: About a dozen readers have identified the bride and groom as Heather and Matt Leszczynski, residents of the Huron Farms subdivision. Their home was destroyed by the tornado, friends said, and they were not available to comment Friday. is taking steps to ensure the return of the photos to the owners.

It's one of many examples of personal property strewn about Dexter. Hudson Mills Metropark golf course, for example, discovered high school papers and a lawn mower on its grounds.

But it's a particularly poignant reflection of how a natural disaster shows no respect for memories.

Another Dexter resident, Dexter Lions Club member Mike Scott, told he found a high school photo that appears to be of the same women from the wedding photo.

Scott lives on Huron View Court near the Huron Farms subdivision. He found what he guessed to be a 10th grade photo of a women in a blue cowl neck sweater with red dangling earrings.

"Me and my wife were walking around after the tornado — there was underwear sitting on the street and parts of board games and we found this photo," Scott said. "I wasn't sure how to get it back to this person."

He added: "We were walking down by the curb and it was sitting down by the ground."

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.


Cris Rinderknecht

Sun, Mar 18, 2012 : 1:13 p.m.

There is a Lost-and-Found message board here -

Elaine F. Owsley

Sat, Mar 17, 2012 : 12:49 p.m.

Could someplace like the library undertake to receive these photos so that people could come to a central location to reclaim them? If not the library, some other centrally located place.


Sat, Mar 17, 2012 : 12:25 p.m.

We have a shadow box with WW2 medals in it from the house on the corner of York and Noble that was destroyed. Right behind Heather and Matt's house I think. Please update when there is a safe place to return things.


Sat, Mar 17, 2012 : 3:23 a.m.

"a women"? Twice? Really? You guys need a copy editor? I'm $30 per hour.


Sat, Mar 17, 2012 : 12:43 a.m.

Might I suggest either a facebook page, or a flickr page be made where pictures that were found could be posted. I'm sure from seeing the damage, that there are many more things like that to be recovered.. Social media would be a good way to connect the finders with the owners.


Sat, Mar 17, 2012 : 12:38 a.m. are we going to located the owner of the underwear?

April Dahm

Fri, Mar 16, 2012 : 8:14 p.m.

This photo is in fact my brother and sister-in-law (Matt & Heather Leszczynski). They lost their home from the tornado as well as most of their possessions. They would love to have this photo as they lost most of their wedding photos. They live on the corner of York and Meadow View.

April Dahm

Mon, Mar 19, 2012 : 1:32 a.m.

Yes Chris, that is The Henry Ford Estate...such a beautiful place!


Sat, Mar 17, 2012 : 1:04 p.m.

Is that at the henry ford fairlane estate in dearborn? Sure looks like it.. I got married there myself. I live in Saline and had things been a little different that could have been us. Humbling.

Nathan Bomey

Fri, Mar 16, 2012 : 6:51 p.m.

Good news: Thanks to people who commented and several who emailed, we have identified the couple and are in contact with family friends to return the photos. The story has been updated to reflect this. The bride and groom are Heather and Matt Leszczynski, residents of the Huron Farms subdivision. Their home was destroyed by the tornado, friends said, and they were not available to comment.

Top Cat

Fri, Mar 16, 2012 : 6:34 p.m.

It may seem trivial but the fact that someone would care about such a thing shows how fundamentally decent so many people are.


Fri, Mar 16, 2012 : 6:32 p.m.

I think that photo belongs to Matt and Heather Leszczynski, who I don't know personally - but I saw a mutual friend comment on their FB page about the tornado and after taking a peek, the faces look similar.


Fri, Mar 16, 2012 : 6:27 p.m.

We have also found photos of another wedding and a t-shirt with pictures of children on it and live in Huron Farms. can you find out if there is any plan to collect these memories to get them back to their owners?

Andrea Zastrow

Fri, Mar 16, 2012 : 6:23 p.m.

I ran across an article awhile back about how family photos when found after the Japan tsunami were being carefully cleaned, then saved, so that they could be restored to their owners if possible.