Laptop stolen from hospital found but family photos missing

Computer was stolen from elderly patient’s hospital room

The laptop stolen from an elderly patient’s hospital room has been found but gone are the hundreds of family photos in its hard drive.

The computer, which was taken Saturday from 89-year-old Laurence Michalski’s room at Princess Margaret Hospital Lodge, was recovered by Toronto police Wednesday afternoon.

It belonged to Michalski’s daughter and held hundreds of irreplaceable photos of his 17-year-old granddaughter Marisa, who died in March after a nine-year battle with a rare form of spinal cord cancer.

“It has been wiped, but I’m still hopeful that if I get it to the right person, they’ll be able to recover the pictures,” said the girl’s mother, Teresa Solta.

Solta said she and her father – both Winnipeg residents who are staying at the centre while he undergoes cancer treatments – were relieved when police brought her the computer to identify Wednesday night.

“He’s sitting here with me smiling,” she said of Michalski. “I’m so indebted to the people of Toronto and the Toronto police department.”

“It would have been nice if it had come back intact, but I’m one step closer to getting her pictures back.”

Solta said she plans to have a computer technician look at the laptop, but she’s a bit apprehensive about letting it out of her hands.

“Right now I have it sitting about four inches away from me and I think it’s going to be hard to let it go to someone for repairs . . . I suspect it might be a one time chance to retrieve it,” she said.

Police wouldn’t disclose how the laptop was recovered, but did issue a news release identifying a suspect in the case.

Investigators are looking for 35-year-old Bradley Warford of Barrie, who is wanted for break and enter to commit and breach of parole.

Warford is described as white, five-foot-10 to six feet, with short, spiky dark hair.

Police believe there may be more victims and ask anyone with information to call 416-808-5100.

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