Woman receives return package mailed in 1989 Pineville -- In this age of electronic information, detractors of the U.S. Postal Service often criticize its delivery speed as "snail mail," but the snails were especially slow for Vonette McKithern, who recently received a return package almost 17 years after mailing it. In 1989, McKithern's daughter, Vicki Kemp, was a young bride who had moved with her husband from Pineville to Baton Rouge. One of the things Kemp had left at her Pineville home was a garment bag with her name embroidered on it, a gift from her grandfather. McKithern filled the bag with a few small trinkets for Kemp and mailed it to her. Kemp never received the package, and her mother assumed it had been lost in the mail, never to be seen again. McKithern said she couldn't believe her eyes when she received the long-forgotten package in the mail a few weeks ago. "I didn't remember sending it or what was in it," McKithern said. Once she opened the package, which she had paid $2.40 to send as priority mail, it all came back to her. "It was very smelly after all this time. It's a good thing that I didn't send food or it would have been really gross," McKithern said. Deciding it was better late than never, she delivered the package to her daughter, who had divorced, remarried and moved back to Pineville years ago. Kemp said she was surprised, but glad, to finally receive the package her mother had sent. She said she was especially happy to get back the bag given to her by her grandfather, who passed away three years ago. "I was shocked and amazed that it was still around. My life has really changed since then. Back then, I didn't have kids, but now I have two," Kemp said. Trent Nelson, the Postal Service's local operations manager, said his investigation has led him to believe the package was sitting in the office of the trailer park in Baton Rouge, to where Kemp had moved, before being returned in the mail. "Usually when we have situations like this, 99 percent of the time the package is not at the post office," he said. McKithern, though, said she probably will never know how a package she sent nearly two decades ago finally found its way back to her. "I just wonder where it has been all this time. That's the thing, where has it been?" McKithern said.