A 1999 Columbine High School yearbook that went up for auction on Los Angeles-based "Nate D. Sanders Auctions" website nearly fetched $700, but the original owner claims the book was stolen. The yearbook has now been taken down from the auction website.
7News reports that the yearbook originally belonged to Sarah Bay, 29, who was a junior at Columbine High School in 1999, the year of the infamous school shooting.
The 1999 yearbook contains photos of the students that were murdered on that tragic day as well as the two seniors responsible - Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris - for what is still one of the deadliest school massacres in American history, according to the Denver Post.
Bay described the yearbook and the haunting snapshot it portrays of this era at Columbine High School to the Denver Post:
The yearbook is interesting because it was published before the shooting happened, but all of the signatures and mementos were done after the shooting happened. It's an interesting dichotomy because the pictures show very happy, innocent people - everything you associate with your junior year in high school - but the signatures are a lot darker.
KOMONews reports that Bay, who now lives in Denver, said that the yearbook was being kept at her parents house in Colorado right across the street from Columbine High School. She believes that a family member stole it and put it up for auction to turn a quick profit. The Denver Post reports that some media outlets were offering to pay students upwards of $10,000 to $15,000, after the shootings originally occurred.
Nate Sanders, the owner of the auction site, claims he purchased the year book on eBay for about $1,700 from a person he thought was the owner, but will now return the book to its rightful owner, according to 7News.
The Nate D. Sanders website has removed the item and listing, but TIME magazine reports that the site was describing the item as “an important memorial to the victims of the Columbine Massacre, as it depicts a vibrant community not destroyed by violence but rather filled with promise and compassion.”
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story indicated that Sarah Bay lived in Seattle, Washington now. Bay lives in Denver, Colorado.