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Thanks to the help of Daily Globe readers and members of “Growing Up Worthington,” mystery man David White was found in New Port Richey, Fla., and reunited with his belongings being kept safe by Lydia Lewis. The pair are grateful to everyone who helped connect them. Photo Courtesy of WFLA.com

Found him!

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WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — After pursuing leads across 1,600 miles, Lydia Lewis’ search for David White has drawn to happy close. 

When Lewis moved to Florida earlier this year, she ended up with two boxes of possessions that didn’t belong to her, thanks to a mix up with the moving company. After searching through the contents of the boxes, Lewis determined that the owner of the items had ties to Worthington, and placed a phone call to the Daily Globe, asking for help in locating David White. She had already shared the story with a Florida news station, but that interview turned up no leads as to his whereabouts.

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Thanks to a few amateur detectives on the “Growing Up Worthington” Facebook page, White, who now lives in New Port Richey, Fla., was located. He and his wife, Cathy, traveled Friday morning to retrieve their lost belongings and meet the woman who wouldn’t give up on the search.

Before the story ran in the Thursday edition of the Daily Globe, a visitor to the Daily Globe’s website read the article Wednesday night and began the hunt for David White. After reposting the story to the “Growing Up Worthington” page, several members began piecing together clues. Some were able to track him down to his former Colorado residence, others blew up the photo of his name badge for a better view. Before long, members tagged White’s wife, Cathy, in the messages, and before 8 a.m. Thursday, Cathy had contacted the Daily Globe office.

David White was amazed at how social media was able to bring an end to the search so quickly.

“I can’t believe all this has come together,” White said, adding it is a testament to how social media has brought people together.

White and his wife moved to Florida from Colorado due to Cathy’s health issues. White said he hadn’t noticed one of the two boxes was missing because the couple had downsized many items before the move. The box in question is the one that Lewis used in her quest.

“(It) feels good to get them back.” White said.

White said he took a trip down memory lane while going through the well-kept boxes, seeing many things he hopes to share with his grandchildren some day.

Lewis was equally happy to see this mystery solved. When she received the phone call Thursday that Cathy had contacted the Daily Globe, she repeatedly exclaimed, “Praise the Lord!”

Friday’s meeting between the Whites and Lewis was taped by the Florida news station, documenting a happy ending to its earlier story.

Lewis was delighted after meeting White and seeing his items returned safely.

“I’m so happy. I can’t be happier,” she said.

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Robin Baumgarn
Robin Baumgarn is a new reporter for the Daily Globe covering the Education and Northwest Iowa beats. Prior to coming to the Globe, she worked for the Ocheyedan Press-Melvin News, a weekly Iowa paper for three years. She is a 2012 graduate of Iowa Lakes Community College and lives in Northwest Iowa with her husband Ryan and three pets, Fidget, Missy and Samwise.
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