Airport Passenger Trying to Solve a Mystery After Detecting a Man Throw a Strange Package in the Trash

Few people enjoy flying. We like getting to our destinations, but the whole act of going to the airport and getting through security is just dull, time-consuming, and problematic for many airline passengers, especially in the United States. With security becoming stricter, getting through an airport is a bigger challenge than ever before.

So, when this woman and her boyfriend were waiting in line and noticed a man tossing a mysterious package in the airport trash, they knew they had to take a closer look. The man had desperately wanted to keep the package but was forced to throw it away by the officials, so the woman and her partner knew it had to be something special. Little did they know that their curiosity was about to lead to a series of astonishing events.

Our Story Begins in an Airport

Ivelise Hernandez, a Tampa resident, had a flight reserved from St Petersburg-Clearwater Airport. She was being accompanied by her boyfriend, Rico Bankston, who had offered to drive her out and say goodbye before she boarded her plane.


The pair arrived at the airport, as usual, completely unaware of the strange story that was about to unfold. For Rico and Ivelise, it just seemed like a regular day, but when they got to the security line, Ivelise’s attention was immediately drawn by an irate passenger who was arguing with the security workers.

Security Issues

Rico and Ivelise remained in the security line and observed the scene. Nobody likes standing in all those lines and waiting to get through the long and laborious process of airport administration before finally being allowed on a plane, but the couple managed to remain patient as they watched to see what would happen next. They noticed that the man was holding a package in his hands and the security officials had taken him to the side to talk to him about it. Rico and Ivelise were only a few feet away and were shocked to hear what was being said between the passenger and the workers.


Photo credit MARK LEFFINGWELL/AFP/Getty Images

What was going on with this passenger? Read on to find out.

The Waiting Game

Whatever was going on with the man, it was holding up the whole line of passengers, leaving Rico and Ivelise with no other option but to watch, listen, and wait for the entire thing to play out. They quickly realized that there was a problem with the man’s mysterious package. It seemed that the package must contain some item that was prohibited in the airport or on board the plane.


Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

The guards listened to the man’s pleas but weren’t going to let him go any further with this package. The curious couple continued to observe, eager to see what happened next.

The TSA’s Tough Rules

Ever since the infamous September 11 terrorist attacks that will never be forgotten, airport security has tightened up all around the world, but especially in the United States. Anyone traveling in or out or around the country has to follow strict rules and procedures that have been put in place to prevent future terrorist acts and keep people safe. The Transportation Security Authority (TSA) works hard to protect the people, but this means that many innocent passengers end up on the wrong side of the rules when they want to travel with restricted items.


Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

The man seemed to be traveling with something dangerous, and Ivelise wanted to know more…

Random Requirements

To most people, some of the hand luggage rules and requirements enforced on passengers in the United States almost seem ridiculous. It’s not uncommon these days to see passengers getting angry at airport officials, totally confused at why they have to throw out seemingly innocent and innocuous objects little bottles of water or small bottles of shampoo, but the truth is that the TSA have good reasons for every rule and are just trying to keep people safe.


Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

in certain cases, you can buy replacements for the objects you lose inside the airport, but in the case of this man, it seemed that the object in his package was something very precious.

Rising Tensions

Naturally, as the security workers continued to refuse the man entry with his package, he started to get angry and stressed out. Ivelise and Rico couldn’t take their eyes off the scene as the man attempted to make some deal with the TSA workers, asking if he could leave his package somewhere safe to be collected in the future.


Source: Warped Speed

Sadly for him, the workers again said no. They told him that his only option was either to abandon his flight or throw the package in the trash. It was at this point that Ivelise noticed the man was on the verge of tears.

On the next page, Ivelise and Rico take action!

Looking Inside the Trash

Left with no other choice, the man simply had to throw his package away. He’d done all he could and pleaded with the TSA workers to the best of his abilities, thinking of every possible argument and solution to the problem, but rules are rules, and there was nothing more he could do.


Photo by Universal Images Group via Getty Images

With tears gathering in his eyes, he headed over to the nearest trash can and pushed the package inside, before finally being allowed to enter the next area of the airport. The security line finally started moving forwards, but Ivelise wasn’t quite ready to leave just yet.

Yes, It’s Time To Act

Disturbed and saddened by the events they had witnessed, Ivelise and Rico decided they weren’t going to stand by and act as if nothing had happened.


Source: Facebook/Amarri Hernandez

As Ivelise approached the end of the security line and turned to give Rico a goodbye kiss, she asked him to do something he wasn’t expecting: she told him to head over to that same trash bin and fish out the package to see what was inside. Confident that he could pull off the mission, she gave him a loving last minute hug and proceeded into the departure area.

Will Rico be able to do it? Read on to see…

Rico is on a Mission

Rico, of course, wasn’t getting on the flight with his girlfriend, so after the pair said their goodbyes, he was all set to leave the airport, but Ivelise’s last instructions were still in his mind.


Source: Fox 13 News

He knew he couldn’t let her down, but he was still a little worried that the airport workers might get suspicious if he started digging through the trash. In the end, however, he decided that if the package was truly dangerous, the workers would have taken it away, so he walked over and fished it out as quickly as he could before stepping out and getting in his car.

Ivelise has a Stressful Flight

While Rico was in his car driving home to Tampa, Ivelise was boarding her plane and set off on her flight.


Source: Facebook/Amarri Hernandez

It was a stressful experience for her. All she could think of was the scene from the airport and the poor man who had so clearly had to throw away something that mattered to him. She hoped that Rico had been able to find the package, and as soon as she landed at her destination, she switched on her cell phone and called him up to find out what had happened.

When Rico told her what he’d found, Ivelise couldn’t believe her ears…

A Special Souvenir

Rico revealed to Ivelise that he’d been able to retrieve the package and had opened it up. Inside, he’d found a snow globe.


Source: Fox 13 News

At first glance, that might not sound so special. Snow globes are very common souvenirs that can be purchased all around the world. Rico rightfully wondered why the man had been so stressed out about losing such a simple item that didn’t appear to be of any significant value. However, then he took a closer look at the snow globe and saw something that made him understand the entire story.

A Precious Memory

As Rico inspected the snow globe, he found several unique aspects and features that made him realize just how special it was. Inside the globe was a little picture frame holding a different picture on each side.


Source: Facebook/Amarri Hernandez

One side showed a young girl and a dog, while the other showed a man and a woman who looked like husband and wife. Not only that, but the snow globe also had a musical element, playing the song ‘Greensleeves’ when it was wound up, and it had an engraving on the bottom which said “We love you, Katie. Nana and Papa 1/25/16”.

Rico and Ivelise knew precisely what they had to do next…

A Plan is Formed

Ivelise and Rico couldn’t do anything straight away, so they waited until Ivelise got home from her little vacation. They both agreed that they couldn’t possibly throw the snow globe in the trash and forget about it. Instead, they had to find the man who had been forced to toss it away and give it back to him.


Source: YouTube/Fox 13 News – Tampa Bay

It was evident from the way the man had reacted that he cared a lot about this snow globe, which seemed to be destined as a gift to a young family member. But how could they possibly track him down?

Mission Impossible?

Rico and Ivelise had noble intentions and deserved much credit for wanting to do the right thing, but they were facing a challenging mission. Tracking down one man based on such limited clues was going to be a huge job. They had barely anything to go on, with no surnames or addresses or contact details on the snow globe. All they knew were a few basic details and the fact that the man had taken a flight on the same date and at the same airport as Ivelise.


Source: YouTube/Fox 13 News – Tampa Bay

Even though it seemed impossible, they were going to do their best.

Next, Rico and Ivelise start trying to track down their mystery man…

Social Media Comes To The Rescue

Nowadays, the internet is our go-to source in all times of need. Whether you’re looking for a recipe or looking for information on a historical figure, the world wide web is just waiting to help out. So it was pretty logical that Rico and Ivelise rushed online as the first part of their plan.


Photo by Fairfax Media via Getty Images

Ivelise wrote about the story on Facebook and shared some photos of the snow globe too, encouraging her friends to share it around in the hope that maybe, somewhere, somehow, the story might catch the eye of someone with information on the snow globe’s owner.

Hopping for a Miracle

The trouble with posting things on social media is that you never know how many people you’re going to reach. Even if you have hundreds of Facebook friends, it’s still a very small number when compared to the hundreds of millions of people that live all around America.


Source: Uplift Posts

Ivelise did all she could, but she didn’t have many contacts on social media and worried that her Facebook post wouldn’t be able to reach a wide enough audience to have any effect. But then, something happened that left Rico and Ivelise in a state of total shock.

They couldn’t believe what happened next and neither will you…

The Story Goes Viral

Fortunately, through the magical powers of the internet, Ivelise and Rico’s story went viral. Her Facebook post started off slowly, but then the share numbers just started skyrocketing as more and more people read the details and wanted to help the couple track down the owner of the snow globe.


Source: Fox 13 News

Within a single week, that simple little Facebook post written by Ivelise had been shared around almost 50,000 times! Even with all those shares, Rico and Ivelise were still wary: they couldn’t be sure if the viral post would be enough to give their story a happy ending.

Someone Special Sees The Post

Finally, after what had seemed like a long and painful wait for the couple and everyone else who had taken an interest in the snow globe story, Rico and Ivelise got their first big lead.


Source: Fox 13 News

The social media post had been shared many more times by this point and had finally caught the eye of someone with a vague knowledge of the people involved. This person wasn’t a relative or part of the family, and they didn’t even know the man who had thrown the snow globe away at the airport. However, they did have one special link to the case: they worked at the shop that had made and sold the item.

The story takes a crazy turn on the next page…

The Next Step is Formed

The person who got in touch with Rico and Ivelise worked at a store called ‘Things Remembered’ which specializes in personalized souvenirs. The worker didn’t remember selling the specific snow globe seen in the photos, but knew what kind of model it was and wanted to help out however she could.


She decided to get in touch with her bosses at the company’s Ohio offices to see if they could find some kind of record of the order. She took the photos from Ivelise’s Facebook post and sent them off. At this point, everyone following the events was crossing their fingers and hoping that a good ending might not be too far away.

The Man from the Airport Revealed

The Things Remembered worker honored her word. She got in touch with the bosses at her company and communicated back and forth with them to get the bottom of the mystery. Eventually, using the company’s sales records, they managed to find a name: Linda Modry.


Source: Facebook/Linda Modry

It seemed like Linda had purchased the snow globe and had it personalized with the photos and engraving to give as a gift to Katie, her granddaughter who was just five years old. Tragically, Katie had never gotten the gift. It turned out that her father, Michael, was the man that Ivelise and Rico had observed at the airport.

Will Kate finally get her gift? Read on to see…

Getting Closer to the Moment of Truth

With this new information, Rico and Ivelise were so much closer to finally returning the snow globe to its rightful owner. They had a full name and details of the people who were involved in the snow globe’s purchase, and it all seemed like only a matter of time until little Katie could finally see the super gift for herself.


Source: YouTube

Let’s not forget that this whole incredible story would never have happened if not for the kindness of two people towards a total stranger. If Ivelise and Rico hadn’t felt some sympathy for the man in the airport, the snow globe would have stayed lost.

A Shocking Revelation

Even though the story was reaching its conclusion, there was still time for one last shocking piece of information to be unveiled. The Things Remembered offices agreed to send out Linda Modry’s telephone number to Rico and Ivelise so that they get in touch with her and arrange a meeting.


Source: The Buzz Tube

When they called her up, they were astonished to learn she lived right nearby! At this point, the story had gone so viral that various local news teams were keeping up with the action and made arrangements to film the special moment when Linda met up with the snow globe saviors.

Linda meets Ivelise on the next page…

The Long-Awaited Meeting

The next logical step was for Linda to meet up with Rico and Ivelise to reclaim the snow globe and thank them for their kindness, but the meeting turned out to be way more emotional than anyone could have imagined.


Source: Fox 13 News

It was a stormy day when Linda knocked on the door. She wasn’t sure what was about to happen, but she knew that the people inside the home had done a beautiful thing for her family and she couldn’t wait to meet them and tell them all about just how much it meant to her.

A Warm and Loving Hug

After going through a real whirlwind of emotions in recent days, Linda and Ivelise were simply overwhelmed to finally see each other and camera crews filmed the wonderful moment as they fell into each other’s arms. It was such a touching embrace, with the two women smiling brightly and sharing a special kind of bond that will never be broken.


Source: YouTube/Let Me Know

They’d never met or known each other before but were hugging like old friends or sisters. Linda had brought along a bouquet and gave them to Ivelise as a kind gift before getting ready to receive the snow globe and explain its significance.

Linda then revealed something extra special about the snow globe…

A Birthday Surprise

After sharing a big hug and some happy smiles, Linda and Ivelise finally had a moment to chat. It was then that Linda revealed a particular fact about the snow globe that nobody had known until now: it had been purchased as a birthday gift. It turned out that little Katie’s birthday was only a few days away and the snow globe was destined for that special occasion.


Source: Fox 13 News

If Ivelise and Rico hadn’t acted as quickly as they did and managed to track Linda down in time, the big day would have passed by, and the snow globe would have lost a little of its importance.

An Act Of Kindness

So it turned out that the snow globe was even more critical than Rico and Ivelise could have imagined. Katie’s grandparents had bought it with the hopes of passing it on to Katie as a special symbol of their love, an item that she could treasure and cherish for many years, looking back on her birthday and all those happy memories with her grandpa and grandma.


Source: YouTube/Fox 13 News – Tampa Bay

Ivelise could see how much the whole thing meant to Linda and was so touched to have been able to help, but Linda didn’t stop there. She pulled out her cell phone and started dialing a number.

Read on to see whom Linda was calling…

An Emotional Call

Linda was the one who had bought the snow globe, but the item was important to her whole family, and she wanted Ivelise to see just how special it was to all of them. She decided to give her son Michael a call. He was, after all, the man that Rico and Ivelise had seen getting so stressed out at the airport.


Source: Facebook/Amarri Hernandez

It turned out that he’d been visiting his mom and dad just before getting to the airport and had collected the package from them. He was planning on taking it home and giving it to Katie as a surprise gift on her birthday.

The Meaning of the Engraving

When Rico and Ivelise initially looked at the snow globe, they assumed that the date engraved on the bottom, January 25, must have been a birthday or something like that. As Linda explained, it was the date on which Katie had been adopted into the family! And that just made the whole story even sweeter.


Source: Facebook/Amarri Hernandez

Linda and her husband had decided to get the date engraved a sign of Katie officially becoming their granddaughter. At that point, Michael answered the phone and Linda handed it over to Ivelise.

It turned out that Michael wasn’t the only one with something to say…

Katie Says Hi

Ivelise listened closely. At first, she heard Michael thanking her for her kindness, but then another, much younger-sounding voice joined in with the discussion. It was five years old Katie. Linda told her that she’d finally managed to track down the unique birthday gift and Katie was so excited to hear that news.


Ivelise was almost crying happy tears as she listened to the sweet little girl bouncing with happiness on the other end of the line. It was a fairytale moment and an excellent way for Ivelise to see how her act of kindness had resulted in so much joy.

Good Parenting

So what made Ivelise come up with this whole crazy plan to save the snow globe and help a stranger in the first place? Well, when asked about it, she explained to Linda that her parents had always taught her to do good things and try to be nice to other people.


Source: Facebook/Amarri Hernandez

When she saw Michael in a bad situation at the airport, she merely wanted to help; it was just in her nature. Linda was blown away. She knew that there were good people in the world, but in her opinion, Ivelise was simply ‘exceptional.’

And Linda wasn’t the only person impressed by Ivelise…

The Internet Response

f course, we can’t forget that this whole story had gone viral on the internet. All around the world, thousands of people were waiting to hear about what had happened.


Source: Facebook

The entire event was relayed on the Love What Matters Facebook page, where Ivelise received many messages of love, support, and gratitude from total strangers in awe of her kind heart. Everyone was so amazed to see how a simple act of kindness could mean so much, and Ivelise’s story inspired many people to try to do good things in their own lives too.


So what happened next for Ivelise? Well, a couple of years after the snow globe experience, she announced to her friends and followers on social media that she was pregnant. Ivelise will be welcoming her baby into the world, and we can’t imagine a better role model! She’s a very kind, goodhearted woman who is destined merely to be a superb mother. Her child will grow up knowing right from wrong and doing good deeds to follow in his or her mother’s footsteps.


Source: Facebook

We can bet that Ivelise will also be teaching her child about airport regulations, so a repeat of the snow globe story never happens.

Speaking of airport rules, read on for some vital information for your next flight…

Snow Globe Rules

So what are the exact rules for taking a snow globe on an airplane? Well, the reason why Michael was stopped and asked to throw his away was that of its size. It was quite a large object, and the TSA rules explicitly state that snow globes any bigger than a tennis ball won’t be allowed through airport security lines.



So, if you want to pick up a snow globe while on vacation and plan on carrying it in your hand luggage, make sure it’s a relatively small one. And that’s not the only security rule you should be aware of.

Banned Items

The whole reason why snow globes get confiscated or denied at all is to do with the liquid inside them. Modern TSA rules are stringent on fluids, and this is why things like shampoo and toothpaste aren’t allowed on planes, and you have to buy bottles of water inside the airport these days.


Photo Illustration by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Other strange prohibited items include balloons containing helium, art supplies like paints, and several sport-related objects. Fortunately, as technology improves and new ways of detection become available, airport security might become a little more lenient on certain products.