- Former police officer Brandon del Pozo says he found a family photo on the scene of the 9/11 attacks.
- Del Pozo says he rediscovered the photo 20 years later and shared a picture of it on Facebook.
- Now, he says he’s found the family in the photo and that they’re all alive and well.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Former NYPD officer Brandon del Pozo told Insider he was in Lower Manhattan 20 years ago on September 11, 2001, when the Twin Towers collapsed.
Walking to ground zero to see if there were any survivors who needed help, del Pozo said, he looked down and saw a photo of a family at his feet.
“It seemed wrong to leave it on the ground,” del Pozo said of the photo. “I thought if it just laid there, it would be lost forever, but it was also a very personal item.”
So, del Pozo – a patrol officer in Brooklyn at the time – picked it up and put it in his police memo book, he said.
Two decades later, del Pozo said he has found the family in the photo after rediscovering the image in his basement and posting it on Facebook.
When the post – which has 41,000 shares at the time of writing – went viral. del Pozo said a few people contacted him through Facebook and Twitter saying they could identify the man in the picture. After some research, del Pozo said he was able to reach out to the man in the photo on LinkedIn. Around the same time, the woman in the photo reached out to del Pozo on Facebook, del Pozo said, and the former police officer said he talked to both her and her husband.
Del Pozo said the family members – whose identities he would not disclose as he said they asked him to protect their privacy – are all alive and well.
From speaking with the man in the photo, del Pozo said he learned that the father and husband had worked on the 40th floor of One World Trade Center, and that the image hung in his office.
Del Pozo said the man planned to go to a conference at Windows on the World, the observatory at the top of the tower, on the morning of September 11, 2001, but he was sent on business to London on September 10. Del Pozo added that everyone at that conference died.
On Sunday, after speaking with the man in the photo, del Pozo shared a tweet with an update for his followers.
“He’s retired, still married, and his three boys are now grown men who are healthy and thriving,” he wrote.
Del Pozo also cited an email he said the man had sent him. “Life has been good over the time since 9/11, which separates us from people no less deserving, just less lucky,” the man wrote, according to del Pozo. “Fate was kind: it wasn’t my time to go.”
As the 20th anniversary of 9/11 approached, del Pozo said he came across the photo while he was looking for something else: a journal entry that he wrote on his 27th birthday, the day before the attacks.
In the entry, which he shared with Insider, he wrote that if he were to die the next morning, he would have lived a good life.