Mementos swept away in tornado found in another state

PERRYVILLE, Mo. — Families whose homes were destroyed in a tornado that hit Missouri have found their mementos scattered across state lines.

READ MORE: 22 tornadoes rip through the Midwest

After a family's treasured paintings were whisked away in the Perryville tornado, the family assumed they were gone for good; that is until they were discovered nearly 40 miles away. (CNN)

After a family’s treasured paintings were whisked away in the Perryville tornado, they thought they were lost for good. (CNN)

After treasured paintings were whisked away in the Perryville tornado, the family assumed they were gone for good; that is until they were discovered nearly 40 miles away in Jackson County, Illinois.

Since the sun rose after the deadly Perryville tornado, residents in southern Illinois have been finding personal belongings from the victims. In an effort to find the rightful owners, people posted messages on Facebook about the items that were found.

Sue Spencer’s home was destroyed in the tornado. She was not home at the time of the because she is in Chicago recovering from hip surgery. Volunteers spent the day digging through the rubble of what is left of her home.

They searched for items like jewelry and family photos. As an artist, she painted pictures and family portraits for years. After losing everything, Spencer’s family did not know what would be found in the debris.

At least two of her portraits were found miles away in the Campbell Hill area of Jackson County, Illinois.

“Friends from nearby saw [the photos of belongings on social media] and started getting hold of us… phones ringing non-stop…things being found across the river,” said Duncan Hahs.

The woman who found the portraits is planning on delivering them to the family. Hahs said someone found letters belonging to him in Illinois as well.

“[They’re] letters I wrote my wife when we weren’t together a long period of time.”

The letters are crinkled, but otherwise dry and intact.

First Baptist Church in Perryville has set up a lost and found for anyone who finds items they believe may have been swept away in the tornado.