Have you accidentally dragged the 'My pics' folder into another folder at the side of it?
Have you logged on as a different type of user, this will hide the original user's documents.
The description you gave of deleting an empty folder, which then started to delete other pictures, is very unusual. Can you be more specific.
If you've done a soft delete, they are in your recycle bin - if activated! If you have done a permanent delete, you need recovery software to get them back.
Isn't this enough. Just this world. Just this.