When Jim McKay bought a VCR at the Goodwill in Cedar Park, Texas for a film project prop, he never expected to find a video inside of a baby taking his first steps. McKay knew someone would be missing that footage. And his journey to find the family featured in the home video? A success!
Tonight on @KVUE in a matter of minutes – hear the story of how Jim McKay found TyRe Alexander, the man in a VHS tape he found.
That tape shows TyRe taking his first steps at 10 months old back in 1994!
— Luis de Leon (@LuisdeLeon15) January 10, 2020
“I watched the whole thing. It was just 18 minutes of just glorious family time and it was amazing,” said McKay. “It was such a cool, beautiful moment that I had to do something with it, something I couldn’t just say, ‘This is amazing,’ stick it in a box and forget about it. These people are young enough to still be alive. Maybe they’d like to see it.”
“It was different back then,” McKay added. “People didn’t film everything like they do now. It was reserved for special occasions. So people filmed different things and they also did it differently. They weren’t good at it. It was just very real. It has a certain quality that you don’t really get now.”
The vintage video, which was made on September 27, 1994, was shared over thousands of times on social media and also news programs.
“It’s a very important moment in the child’s life and it’ll never happen again. I want to see that returned,” said McKay. “I just fell in love with this family. I think they’re amazing and if I can help them out and bring this back to them, that would be like the perfect closure.”
McKay’s work paid off. On Sunday night, McKay posted that the baby—now grown TyRe Alexander—had called him. Alexander’s mother had seen the video on the news and told him about it.
OH MY GOD TYRE JUST CALLED ME!! WE FREAKING FOUND HIM YA'LL!!!!
“My mom called and she was like, ‘Hey, you know you’re on TV right now?'” said Alexander. “I was like, ‘Oh snap,’ and that’s when I realized that’s my dad.”
In his mid-20s now, Alexander said he’s a guest educator for Round Rock ISD and Leander ISD.