05/28/2013 09:50 EDT | Updated 07/28/2013 05:12 EDT

Mom finds baby photos from stolen roll of film on Facebook

A roll of film that was stolen close to a decade ago has been recovered, and the owner has been reunited with pictures of her then-newborn daughter thanks to social media and a caring fellow citizen.

The film canister was discovered on the roadside of the Malahat Highway near Victoria during the May long weekend.

Helen Maslyk said she spotted the roll of undeveloped film in the ditch when her camping trip was delayed due to tire problems. She had the film developed, then posted the baby pictures on Facebook in an effort to find the owner.

"I'm one of those people who it's meant for a reason that I was there, and I found it and so I knew that's what I had to do," Maslyk said.

The photos' owner, Ann Perry-Smith, said the film was stolen nine years ago during a vehicle break-in.

She said she was "gobsmacked" when she saw the photos online.

"My jaw just dropped. There's a picture of my husband, my baby — who's only just weeks old at the time — and my dog, laying on the bed together. And it immediately brought back all those memories and I couldn't believe that somebody had found it after all these years," she said.

Perry-Smith said her nine-year-old daughter was happy, but not as surprised as she was, that social media made the reunion possible.