An NBC 5 report helped an Allen mother, whose son was killed in a car crash six months ago, recover photos of the final moments of his life.
Shelly Weisen’s son Kaiden, 21, had lived the last year of his life away from home after joining the Navy.
In June, Kaiden was killed in a car crash in Virginia not far from his Navy base.
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Only two things were saved from the crash – his dog tags and his broken cell phone.
Shelly never removes her son's dog tags from around her neck. She hoped to salvage some of her son’s last memories by getting the data from his phone.
“Maybe I was able to get his photos,” Weisen said. "I have a few selfies he sent me, but I know there are lots more. Today marks a year since I last saw him."
In the days after Kaiden's funeral in July, she took her son's phone to uBreakiFix, a cell phone repair shop in Plano.
Weisen said the store was able to fix the screen on iPhone, but wasn’t able to access it without a passcode. However, she said they told her if she could bring in Kaiden’s laptop, they could sync the two and bypass the phone’s passcode and retrieve the data she wanted.
"I said, 'You’re dealing with the military, it could be a while before I get his laptop,'" Weisen recalled. "He assured me that he would have it in safekeeping and he would keep it as long as I needed it to be there."
Weisen finally received Kaiden’s laptop from the military the week before Christmas and took it into the repair shop, only to be told the phone couldn’t be found.
"They had misplaced the phone," Weisen said. "It wasn’t just someone’s phone. That was the last little bits of his life and it’s gone now."
It’s not the phone itself that matters, Weisen said, it’s only what is inside.
The owner of uBreakiFix in Plano, Robert Munroe, sent NBC 5 the following statement:
“First of all, we are deeply sorry for Ms. Wiesen's loss and thankful for her son's service to our nation. The user experience is of utmost importance to us and every device is made a priority. We are looking into every possible option to retrieve the device and data associated."
A company spokesman told NBC 5 that they also have techs working to retrieve the data in another way.
On Thursday, the phone repair shop recovered 200 photos from Kaiden's iCloud account and overnighted Weisen a new phone with all of the photos on it.
Weisen said she's forever grateful for NBC 5's help.