PORTLAND, Ore. -- A group of Beaverton Boy Scouts, their parents and a huge social media push helped solve a holiday mystery over a very special Christmas ornament.
Joanie Ellis has hung a pair of ceramic booties on her tree for the past 28 years. They celebrate the birth of her son, Cory. He's all grown up now, but the ornament always takes her back to his first Christmas.
Troop 728 found the unique ornament when it was going through some 1,500 trees donated for recycling. Scouts often find ornaments mistakenly left behind on branches. But the booties stood out, along with the message written on them: Cory Scott, October 26, 1985.
Dave O'Brien spotted the ornament as he pulled a tree off a truck. Then, the Boy Scouts contacted KGW for help figuring out who it came from.
“It looks like one that a mom or dad would really hate to miss," O'Brien said.
He was right.
Joanie Ellis has cherished the memento, and her son Cory has his own young son now, which makes it even more special. (Cory and his son pictured at right.)
The Boy Scout mystery was posted on KGW's Facebook page, asking for help finding the owner. Hours, and thousands of "shares" later, the owner was found.
The scouts had recently come to Ellis' house and collected her Christmas tree. She didn't yet know the ornament was missing. But Cory's wife saw KGW's coverage and alerted Joanie about it.
"Every time you put it on the tree, you think about when he was just a baby," Ellis reminisced. "Especially now because he has his own baby."
She logged onto KGW's Facebook page, read all the comments and added her own message: "Mystery solved! Those are my booties and Cory Scott Ellis is my son! Thank you KGW and the Boy Scouts Troop 728!"
The Boy Scouts brought the ornament to Ellis' home in Beaverton on Wednesday and she was thrilled to have it back.
"I love these little booties," she said with a smile. "I think about when he was a baby and about his babies and how special it is."
As for Cory, he is out of town on business, but still got an earful about the bootie drama. He was happy to hear it had been returned to his mom.
Now the precious keepsake has new nostalgia attached to it, giving the family even more to smile about as they hang it every Christmas.
"We'll definitely have more thoughts when we put it on the tree," Ellis said.
KGW reporter Erica Heartquist contributed to this report.