Indiana woman finds Kentucky family photo that traveled over 150 miles from where tornado hit

Family photo from Kentucky found on car windshield over 150 miles away in Indiana

A decades-old photo that was reported to belong to a family from Kentucky has been found over 150 miles away in Indiana after a swarm of tornados carved through the region on Friday night.

Katie Posten shared in a Facebook post that she found an old photograph stuck to the windshield of her car Saturday morning following the storms.

The black and white photo showed a woman in a striped sundress and headscarf holding a little boy in her lap. On the back, written in cursive, it said, "Gertie Swatzell & J.D. Swatzell 1942." 

Posten, who is 30 years old and works at a tech company, shared the photo on social media and asked for help finding its owners.


"A lot of people shared it on Facebook. Someone came across it who is friends with a man with the same last name, and they tagged him," Posten said.

Cole Swatzell, the man who was later tagged in her post, commented that the photo belonged to family members in Dawson Springs, Kentucky, almost 130 miles away from New Albany, Indiana, as the crow flies, and 167 miles away by car.

Gov. Andy Beshear during an interview on CBS’ "Face the Nation" said that half of the town of Dawson Springs "doesn’t exist anymore."

Homes were obliterated and trees were splintered like toothpicks in the town of about 2,700 people. Search and rescue teams were continuing to look for survivors.

A car sits on top of the rubble of a destroyed house after a tornado in Dawson Springs, Ky., Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021.  A monstrous tornado, carving a track that could rival the longest on record, ripped across the middle of the U.S. on Friday. (AP Photo/Michael Clubb)

Beshear’s office confirmed to Fox News Digital via email Sunday morning that the death toll had risen and could climb over 100.

"The confirmation process is slow, but from reports received we've lost more than 80. That number is likely to exceed 100," the governor’s office said.


The confirmed death toll of 36 across five states from the tornadoes includes 22 people from Kentucky; six people in Illinois, where an Amazon facility was hit; four in Tennessee; two in Arkansas, where a nursing home was destroyed; and two in Missouri.

Meanwhile, Posten plans to return the photo to the Swatzell family sometime this week.

"It’s really remarkable, definitely one of those things, given all that has happened, that makes you consider how valuable things are — memories, family heirlooms, and those kinds of things," Posten said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.