Stolen letters from 1940s returned to rightful owner

With a little help from social media, RCMP officers in Rimbey, Alta. have returned a set of stolen letters to its rightful owner.

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Police say they were puzzled to find the bundle of letters, which dated back to 1946, stashed in a stolen car in central Alberta.

The handwritten notes were addressed between Margaret Clark and Mungo Clark, a brother and sister.

According to one letter, Mungo was a gunner in the 40th Battery, 11th Field Regiment, Canadian Army overseas. Other envelopes were addressed to locations in Hamilton, Regina and Craik, Sask.

After confirming there was no link between the car's owner and the correspondence, officers went online to try to find the letters' owner.

"We knew how important it was that somebody get these letters back," RCMP Cpl. Laurel Scott said.

Within hours, police had a match: Bonnie Rasmussen, Mungo's only child.

"My son called me and I'm just blown away. I can't believe this has happened," Rasmussen told CTV Edmonton in a phone interview from her home in Fort St. John, B.C. "These are wonderful moments that can come out of social media."

Rasmussen said the precious letters show a different side of her father, who passed away 20 years ago.

"Reading those letters is like reading a story from someone I never met," she said. "He was so different after the war than the words I read on his letters. The war had changed him dramatically."

Rasmussen says she isn't sure how the letters wound up in the stolen car, but she has a theory about when they first went missing.

"There was property stolen from the family farm and among some of the items that were stolen were dad's medals," she said.

Rasmussen believes whoever stole the decorations may have also taken the letters.

She said the unexpected discovery has given her hope that, one day, her father's medals will be found as well.

Kaylyn Holmgren, 26, has been charged with 20 property-, theft- and traffic-related offences in connection with the car where the letters were found.

With files from CTV Edmonton's Dan Grummett


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