Mystery of 50-year-old film reels found in Bremerton solved

BREMERTON -- The mystery behind who owns some old family films recovered in Bremerton, has been solved.  And the police officers who went the extra mile to solve the case - did it because they cared.

The 8-millimeter films are about 50 years old, many of them in those old-fashioned metal canisters.  Some people living on Roosevelt Street in Bremerton found the films dumped in some hedges at the end of their driveway.  They called police, who could tell simply by looking at the descriptive labels on the reels, that these could be really valuable to someone.   So police called the Kitsap Sun, which ran a story, which lead to facebook posts... and bingo.

Lt. Peter Fisher, of the Bremerton Police Department said "What we learned today was that since the article went in the Sun numerous people have contacted these family members saying the Bremerton police department has your films.   So we were contacted this morning by the family.  The lady identified herself as the daughter of the person who actually shot these films, so we’re in the process of getting them back to her as we speak."

Q13 News tracked down the daughter of the film maker, Cheryl Withers Ronish, who lives in Camas, Washington.  She told us her dad, L.E. "Rick" Withers, worked for the telephone company, but loved to take family movies in his free time.  For decades, the family wondered what happened to those old films.  Now they know, and she's stunned by the discovery.

"I'm like Wow! People took all that time and effort just to make sure that that these films got to us.  I'm just absolutely blown away by people's kindness that they would do that - they would make all that effort for something like this so I'm really touched," she said.

Unfortunately, her father passed away at the age of 80,  just over  a year ago.  So, he won't get to see them again.   But her mother is still alive and can't wait to watch them.  And Cheryl says, her father's passing actually makes the return of the films, even more special.