ROCHESTER (KDKA) — A Purple Heart. A burglary. A flood. A World War I veteran.

All of these elements came together as a complete stranger reached out to KDKA’S Marty Griffin. This is a very special Get Marty.

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“For me, it’s a miracle,” says Judy Rowley.

Judy Rowley’s grandfather, Raymond Hartman, was injured in battle in France in 1918. The World War I veteran came home with a Purple Heart.

Hartman died in 1951, and gave the Purple Heart to his son. But the medal was stolen from his home in Rochester, Beaver County, in 1976.

This is where this story gets crazy. In 1996, the medal was found along the Ohio River in East Liverpool, Ohio, following a major flood.

“That would be a miracle, a miracle in itself,” says East Liverpool resident James Moore.

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A veteran who found the medal in 1996 died a few months ago. The veteran’s wife wanted to find the true owner of the Purple Heart.

So, the Columbiana County Veterans Service Commission in Ohio contacted Get Marty.

“It’s an honor bestowed upon a veteran. It should rightfully belong to a veteran or a veteran’s family,” Deborah Smith, of the veterans group, said.

KDKA’S Marty Griffin located veteran Raymond Hartman’s tombstone. We also found the family by placing the Purple Heart on Facebook.

“It’s so special. It’s amazing,” says Delores Hartman Matika.

If you’d like Marty to help you solve your problem, email him at

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