Basin Electric employee becomes detective

Cheri Wenzel does detective work.

Cheri Wenzel does detective work.

In mid-August, Cheri Wenzel, Basin Electric account analyst II, was taking the scenic route down to Rapid City, SD, with her family. Along the way, they stopped at Shadehill Resort, a primitive camping site near Lemmon, SD, to let their dog out for a rest.

That’s when they found it — a nice digital camera. Nice enough that they spent their next five days trying to track down its owner.

Cheri Wenzel, BEPC

Cheri Wenzel, BEPC

The camera was loaded with 455 photos and videos. Cheri meticulously went through each photo, searching for clues. (Watch the video below to hear about the clues she found.)

After several dead ends, Cheri found the clue that brought her to the camera’s owner. He was a Nike employee from Portland, Oregon. He picked up the camera on his way through Bismarck a couple Sundays ago.

Cheri Wenzel, full-time account analyst, part-time CSI.


  1. That is the coolest story!!! Cheri thank you for sharing it. And Tracie for bringing it to us!

  2. It was fun hearing Cheri tell this story. Thanks Cheri! I’m amazed at the lengths she went to just to return the camera to its rightful owner. I’m not sure what I would’ve done in her situation.

  3. That was so good. I was on the edge of my seat watching it. Cheri is adorable, he’s lucky she is the one that found the camera.

  4. That is facinating, Cheri. Good work.

  5. Evie Zelmer says:

    This is great. You are truly your Mother’s Daughter…. ha

  6. Great job Cheri, Yes you are my cousins daughter,
    you can tell a good story.

  7. Wow, Cherie, good for you. You were persistant
    and I guess it paid off well. Thanks for sharing

  8. Sheila Brunner says:

    Awesome story – Good Job Cheri, you are a great person for going to the lengths you did to get the camera back to it’s rightful owner.

  9. Diana Nagel says:

    What a wonderful story. That is really a nice thing to do…and was interesting to hear the process they took to try and find this guy. I bet he was thrilled.
    Great Job.

  10. Jodi Schlatter says:

    Very impressive Cheri! Way to pay attention to the details. Being an amateur photographer myself I can fully appreciate the value of the pictures/video and the loss he must’ve felt when he realized the camera was missing. Kudos to you for not giving up!

  11. Jen Swanson says:

    Awesome story about an awesome gal! It’s so nice to hear about the great people in this world. She deserves a spotlight!

  12. This was an awesome true story, we are proud of you for not giving up. Thanks for sending it Evie. P & D

  13. Connie Schwartz says:

    That is so awesome. You go girl!

    – – – Say, could you help me find a $20.00 bill that I lost about 35 years ago in Colorado Springs when I was at Palmer Lake? – oh, okay, I just thought . . ., oh, okay, never mind.

    I do appreciate all the investigative efforts that you went through to find the owner of the camera. Good job!!

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