Owner of lost camera in Crystal River, found after nearly decade apart

Citrus County

CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla (WFLA) – The owner of the lost camera a tour captain found at the bottom of the river earlier this week has been found.

Lori Stephens lives more than 500 miles from Crystal River in Waynesville, North Carolina. She was stunned to get a call from her pastor this week asking if she lost a camera in Crystal River.

“It was like seven years ago! And I really hadn’t given it too much thought these last seven years because it’s been so long,” Lori Stephens said.

Stephens tells 8 On Your Side she remembers the day she lost in all those years ago. She was paddle boarding from Three Sisters Springs out to Kings Bay.  

“There were a lot of manatees out there and I was so excited, and in my excitement I forgot to put the wristband on the camera and of course it slipped off,” Stephens added.

Stephens is overwhelmed by all of the work everyone put in to find her to help return the pictures.

“It was this massive treasure hunt and that was the fun part. That our little camera was a part of this fun hunt,” said Stephens.

In the coming weeks, she will come back down to Crystal River, where she will get to meet those who found the camera and were able to retrieve the photos. The Plantation Adventure Center plan to take her out for a manatee tour and relive her trip she made all of those years ago.

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