Tiffany Enriquez packed up the chapters of her family's story.
Photo albums. Wedding keepsakes. Letters and journals and newspaper clippings about the father she lost when she was 8 years old. All tucked inside two black plastic milk crates for Sunday's move.
They meant everything to the Enriquez family.
They were worth nothing to the thief who stole them.
"Wedding album, family photo album … Pretty much all my family's memorabilia," said Enriquez, who forgot to lock her car after she placed the two black plastic milk crates inside. When she came back to her vehicle in the Corcoran neighborhood in south Minneapolis, the crates and their cargo were gone.
She's hoping the thief might have dumped those two plastic crates and their treasures somewhere around town. She's hoping someone will read these words and help bring them home.
"There was nothing of value to the person who grabbed them, so I'm desperately hoping they were left in an alley or elsewhere to be found," she wrote in an email asking for help. "If we can spread the word far enough I feel hopeful someone will notice and reach out."
Among the photos and albums were the papers of her late father, Carlos Enriquez, a student activist at the University of Minnesota who died in 1987.
He was a former stonemason, who died just as he was about to earn his degree at age 44. He left behind a wife, six children, and a legacy as an artist, journalist and tireless advocate for minority and nontraditional students at the university.
His daughter had gathered the records of his years at the university, hoping to donate them to the school's Department of Chicano and Latino Studies. As she packed them up, she snapped a photo of one of the memorial letters.
"As Carlos Enriquez touched our lives and left us the better for the association, so his death touches us now and leaves a void," read one eulogy from the members of the Special Committee on Minority Programs. "A void that may close somewhat with time, but one that can never be made completely whole."
Now that letter is gone. Along with baby photos and funeral cards all the mementos of life in between.
Enriquez is kicking herself for forgetting to lock the car. Even though she's not the one who did anything wrong.
"I was pretty much the family recordkeeper. I'm pretty sure I've been fired from that job now," she said with a sad laugh. "I'm feeling sad for humanity."
If you know anything about the family memories that went missing near the intersection of 24th Avenue S. and 35th Street E. in Minneapolis on Saturday – or if you've seen a pair of black plastic milk crates full of family photos anywhere, let me know at email@example.com.