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Milwaukee newlyweds devastated after memory cards with wedding photos go missing

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A Milwaukee newlywed couple is devastated after learning their wedding photos may be gone forever.

Their pictures were taken by a photographer out of Madison, who says her camera gear and memory cards were stolen out of her rental car.

After five and a half years of dating, Alex and Chelsy Holat finally tied the knot at the Ivy House on Friday and said they felt like a million bucks. That feeling quickly changed when they got a call from their photographer Monday, who said their wedding photos are missing.

The Holats say pictures of their big day are priceless.

"Chelsy called me crying, she was crushed, but I just instantly thought, let's do everything we possibly can,” said Alex Holat.

“We had bridesmaids and groomsmen that flew in from every part of the country, and there's just no re-creating those photos, and I mean they came all the way here for us and we don't have those," said Chelsy Holat.

Family and friends have sent the couple videos and pictures they took so they have bits and pieces of their wedding day.

"I just feel like you have this dream of looking at your photos with your kids one day and hanging them on your wall,” said Chelsy. “Maybe on anniversaries looking back and just seeing like all the love of that day."

Their photographer, Erika Diaz, says she forgot to take her gear out of the trunk of her Enterprise rental car in Madison when she returned it. When she contacted Enterprise, $15,000 worth of gear and a total of 8 memory cards were already gone.

"At this point I don’t even care about my gear,” said Diaz. “I just want to get back their memories, their pictures and everything that they worked so hard for the last year and a half."

Diaz says the car was never rented out to anyone else, and now the Madison Police Department is investigating.

For now, the Holat family has set up a P.O. Box in Racine, hoping someone will send back their precious memories. 

"If you're going to sell the gear, then sell the gear, but don't throw away the cards," said Diaz.

"We don't care who did it or why, we just care about getting the stuff back," said Alex Holat.

"I just keep imagining that they're going to show up in that P.O. Box,” said Chelsy Holat. “I know my stomach will just sink and my heart will be so happy.”

Diaz and the Holat family have contacted pawn shops in the Madison and Milwaukee area. They ask the community be on the lookout for camera gear for sale online.

Diaz is offering a $700 reward to anyone with information that can lead to the return of her memory cards.

If you have information, contact Erika Diaz at (786)-693-3761 or e-mail her at hello@erikadiazphoto.com.

Alex and Chelsy Holat:

P.O. Box 044105

Racine, Wisconsin 53404

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