Someone broke into Julie and Brian Ulery’s home on Thursday while they were out and took a few items, including the family’s home computer.
In stealing the Apple computer system, the thief took years of family photographs and movies documenting the lives of the three young Ulery boys. For Julie Ulery, they took a large piece of her life as a mother.
“I just feel sick,” she said. “Of course, we should have backed everything up, and of course, we didn’t.”
Gone are baby and pregnancy photos, birthday parties, sports events and Christmas celebrations. Good-bye to silly, little boy goofy pictures, serious ones, special occasion videos and just the everyday photos that show children getting bigger, grownups getting older and the family’s life changing and progressing. The sons who were babies just a moment ago are now 8, 5 and 2.
The Ulery family is in the process of moving to West Virginia, where Brian is starting a new job with Thomas Health System in Charleston. They were gone from their rental home in Crystal Hills on Thursday from 10:15am until 1:15pm.
When Julie returned with two-year-old Evan, cranky and wanting milk and a nap, she noticed that the glass door on the sunroom was smashed. She got the milk and then peeked in the family room and saw the flat screen television, thinking for a second that a tree had crashed into the sunroom. But a moment later, she was out the door, back into her car and down the road, calling the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office on her cell.
“We don’t have a lot of valuable stuff, we just have a lot of stuff,” she said. “Kids toys, clothes, stuff that no one would want. But they trashed our bedroom, looking for valuables, and they took our computer.”
The couple is offering up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of the computer’s hard drive, which will give them access to their photos. The videos and photos must be retrievable, either via disc or hard drive. Someone can contact Julie via her email address.
“We hope that other people learn from our mistakes and back up their photos,” Julie said. “It’s a hard lesson to learn.”