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Couples Claim Lost Wedding Photos

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Wedding pictures are some of the most important pictures couples have. A dozen couples, who all used the same Raleigh photographer, never got their wedding pictures -- until now.

Jennifer Eidam beams when she looks at her wedding picture. She saw it for the first time last week even though it was taken 2½ years ago.

"I couldn't believe it. It just seemed so weird to be in a police station to see our pictures -- just the fact that they were there and they're real," she said.

Eidam got the pictures through the Raleigh Police Department. A Tennesee processing lab turned over the negatives after Raleigh photographer Cletus McLaurin never picked them up.

Five On Your Side has reported stories about McLaurin since September 2000. Dozens of newlyweds complained he did not come through with pictures they paid for.

"All of a sudden we just stopped hearing from him," Eidam said.

All the newlyweds said McLaurin gave them nothing but excuses.

It was their stories that led Raleigh police to contact Five On Your Side last week about the negatives.

Eidam heard the story then checked to see if her photo was among those posted on WRAL.com.

Eidam said she was on the phone with a detective while she looked at the pictures posted online.

"My heart was racing as I started clicking. Then the picture showed up and [the detective] was on the phone at the same time and I just broke down," Eidam said.

Eidam said she raced to the police station to claim her negatives and could not wait to get them printed.

"It was probably pure joy, relief, amazement that after 2½ years that it could actually happen," Eidam said.

Couples picked up all 11 rolls of negatives Only two individual photographs are unclaimed. Police said they have heard from other couples whose photos were not found.


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