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College Freshman Wants High School Memories Back

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College freshman Ryan Zabel had senior photos taken with his family that the photographer never returned--until Wednesday afternoon. College freshman Ryan Zabel had senior photos taken with his family that the photographer never returned--until Wednesday afternoon.

Amanda Taylor, News 9

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Ryan Zabel is enjoying life on campus at the University of Tulsa, with a few visits from mom, of course. While he's making memories in college, a piece of his high school days is missing.

"I was going to use these as his senior pictures and put them in the yearbook," Ryan's mom, Janelle Zabel said.

Janelle bought a Groupon last year for a photography session with Nakia Birnie Photography out of Norman. The entire family even got in the pictures back in February.

"I thought they were great," Janelle said. "They were wonderful pictures. I was very happy with them."

But Janelle says after looking at the pictures online and ordering the ones she wanted, she never heard from the photographer again.

"I just assumed she was busy and eventually I'd get them," Janelle said.

Months have gone by and still no pictures.

"At this point, I'd just like to at least have the proofs that had been taken," Janelle said.

"Ryan agreed, "It would be nice to look back and say, ‘hey, that was a sentimental moment in my educational career.'"

I called Nakia Birnie to ask her why the delay.

But she never returned our call. She did however contact Janelle and promised her the pictures. That was more than two weeks ago and Janelle says she's seen nothing.

So I went by the photographer's house to see if I could get the pictures. While I were there, a car pulled up then sped off.

And still no answer as to exactly when or if Janelle will get the photos. We checked the Better Business Bureau. Nakia Birnie Photography has an F rating with 5 complaints. Groupon also received several complaints. They tried to contact Birnie, but say they never heard from her. The Groupon representative tells me if customers are ever unhappy with a purchase, contact them for a credit or refund.

UPDATE:  Moments before this story aired Wednesday night, Janelle Zabel contacted News9 to say that the photographs were returned on a disc she received in the mail.

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