Piece of history captured on KIRO 7 made it home to Des Moines woman decades later

DES MOINES, Wash. — It's a piece of history captured by a KIRO 7 camera in 1984.

Now decades later, thanks to an email, one local woman is reliving the moment she met her family for the first time.

Tiffani Melake, 34, wrote to KIRO 7 last week, saying she needed help tracking down a news story we did on her arrival as a baby to her adopted family in Western Washington back in 1984.

KIRO 7 worked with the Univeristy of Washington’s Library Special Collections and a curator found the video and we contacted Melake.

On Thursday, she sat down and showed her family the video she thought had been lost many years ago.

“It’s a moment for me that I thought was gone,” said Melake. “It really means the world to me to share this with my family.”

UW’s moving image curator, Hannah Palin, said a day like this makes her job very special.

“It gives me chills because it validates what we do and it also helps Melake tie back to her history as well,” said Palin.

Melake’s story just one of many archived in the KIRO 7’s collection kept in the UW’s vault. There are more than 15,000 videotapes dating back to the 1970s.

Melake’s parents still live in Western Washington and she plans to surprise them with this footage.

“It’s something that we get to keep forever,” said Melake. “It’s huge and I am so thankful.”

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