Mistake Leads To 19 Missing Passport Applications

(COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, OH) -- A post office foul-up ends with 19 local passport applications missing.

Now a Tri-state mom says she's not just mad about the mistake, but worried that her family's personal information could wind up in the wrong hands.

Katherine Martinez says last month, the U.S. post office branch in Colerain Township lost the package with her daughter's passport application, including copies of her birth certificate, social security number and a photo.

"This is the U.S. postal service. It's supposed to be secure," said Martinez.

The post office called the Martinez house about it on Tuesday.

"She said, 'well ma'm, here it is now Feb. 14, and if we would have found it we would have found it by now.'"

The post office says 19 passport applications went missing that day from the Colerain office, including the Martinez family's.

"We're looking at it merely as a delay, and a very small percentage of mail gets delayed like that, but seldom is it ever really lost," said post office spokesperson Ray Jacobs.

Ray Jacobs says the postal service has waived any fees for the lost passport applications and has partnered with the state department to get new passports to those who never got them.

Martinez says for her family, another application likely means a delayed trip for her daughter to see grandparents in Mexico.

But that's not what really bothers her.

"She told me that my daughter was only four years old and that it didn't mean as much as the people that were adults," said Martinez.

She's worried instead about identity theft.

"When they say, 'here is your daughters birth certificate,' it is in nobody else's hands. That's when I'll feel secure," said Martinez.

Jacobs also said that when packages are delayed, the mail often shows up in an empty piece of equipment or at another office, where it got misrouted.

Have you had a similar problem with your passport and the post office? Click here to e-mail FOX19 and tell us about it!

FOX19.com: Sara Gouedy