Camera returned to teacher


Teacher Mitchell Pate receives his camera bag full of equipment back from Marla Stevens, who works in Elkhart and helped Pate find his missing equipment after it was lost Friday night.

After three days of not hearing a word about the whereabouts of his camera, teacher Mitchell Pate woke up to a text message on Tuesday morning at 5:27am about his camera.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Pate said. “I really thought that I had lost it for good since I had not received any leads about my camera.”

Within fours hours, his camera bag was delivered to him at work by Marla Stevens, who works at the Elkhart Post Office.

“She texted me several times Tuesday morning about the camera and then told me she was on her way to Buffalo with it,” Pate said. “I just couldn’t believe it. I started to tear up when I saw her walking towards me with my camera bag.”

The camera bag which had his camera, zoom lens, flash, charger and iphone charger, were all returned.

“Everything was still there in my camera bag and my camera worked fine,” Pate said. “I feel so blessed that an honest person found my camera and was able to return it to me.”

Pate had taken photos at the Alto and Buffalo football game on Friday night. On the bus trip home, the camera apparently fell down the steps of the bus and then out of the bus when Pate opened the doors at the railroad crossing.

“When I crossed over the railroad crossing, a student told me he thought a bag fell out of the bus,” Pate said. “When we discovered my camera bag wasn’t there, Mrs. Menefee and Mr. Villarreal went back in the band truck to look at the railroad crossing, but they had no luck finding it.”

Over the weekend, Pate posted several times on facebook about his missing camera. Stevens saw the post on facebook and contacted Pate on Saturday morning.

“I talked with Marla several times over the weekend about my camera,” Pate said. “She was determined to help me find it.”

Stevens saw a post on “Anderson County For Sale” by Marcus Washington, a young man from Elkhart, on Tuesday morning about a camera being found in Elkhart after the football game.

That is when Stevens contacted Washington about Pate’s camera.

“He told me that he was walking home from the football game on Friday night and found it by the railroad tracks,” Stevens said. “I am just so glad that he wanted to find the owner of the camera.”

Stevens met up with Washington on Tuesday morning to get the camera. She then made the trip to Buffalo to deliver the camera to Pate.

“I feel so blessed to get my camera bag back with everything still in it. I am so thankful for Marcus and Marla and their willingness to get the camera back to me,” Pate said. “It is great to know that our world still has some great and honest people in it. I will definitely be paying it forward!”