Only on FOX19: Missing Passports Located

It's a story you've seen only on FOX19 -- more than a hundred passport applications containing personal information disappearing in the U.S. mail.

We first told you last month that 178 passport applications went missing in early January.

Those passports never arrived in Philadelphia for processing. The U.S. Postal Service launched an investigation, but all the while, frustrated people across the Tri-state worried their information could get into the wrong hands.

On Tuesday, the post office found those applications, when they were delivered to the Philadelphia office.

For the last two months, Bette Kahle's been logging onto credit monitoring services because her passport application didn't arrive at it's Philadelphia destination in January.

She checks the reports almost daily.

"I honestly thought nothing would ever be found. I thought it was a criminal thing," Kahle said.

The post office says it wasn't.

Bette's application is one of 178 that didn't arrive for processing in February.

All of them were mailed on Jan. 11 from post offices across the area.

Inside each application: birth certificates, social security numbers, addresses and other personal information.

"Not only was I worried about identity theft, but was everything going to be OK in our home while we were gone?" said Kahle.

But on Tuesday, all the applications showed up in Philadelphia at the passport processing office.

The post office says each one seems intact.

"We do realize that it's been a terrible inconvenience for our customers, and it's been a huge concern for them, so hopefully this should be good news at the documents are returned and they haven't been compromised in anyway," said USPS spokesman Ray Jacobs.

Bette says the Mount Washington post office called her with the news.  Jacobs says all applicants affected by this glitch are getting similar calls.

"We apologize for the delay and we apologize for the concern and the inconvenience that this has caused these applicants," he said.

Bette says she's just glad that her application made it.

"I thought of that this afternoon. I thought well, I don't have this black cloud," she said.

The post office says for this group, those applicants who reapplied already for their passports will soon have their original documents returned to them. The other applications will be "sped through" the process, and people should have passports in hand soon. Sara Gouedy