When employees at a St. Louis Goodwill found over $14,000 in cash in a box of Christmas decorations, they assumed the donor had left the money by accident, and said they would try to return it. But 15 different people have since come forward claiming the money is theirs, leading Goodwill to turn the case over to the courts, KMOV reports.
All 15 people who have called Goodwill over the past week claiming the money is rightfully theirs will have to present their case to St. Louis County Circuit Court, the station reports.
"There is also another lady who calls every day in tears, sure it’s her money," MERS Goodwill CEO Lewis Chartock told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch yesterday.
Goodwill manager Tina Wells was inventorying donations last Wednesday when she discovered a neatly stacked pile of cash -- $14,505 in hundreds, fifties and a single $5 bill -- inside a box of Christmas decorations donated the day before, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported earlier.
After reviewing surveillance tapes, Goodwill officials figured out that the box was part of a large donation dropped off on Tuesday by two men driving a green Ford F150 pickup with a white trailer, according to the paper. The men in the video could not be identified, so officials released it to the public in the hope they may recognize something.
In the meantime, the money is being kept at a local bank, where it will remain for 30 days as the St. Louis County Circuit Court reviews claims of ownership. According to KMOV, the store is not releasing any more information about the money or the donations in order to deter impostors.
“It's in the hands of our lawyer who will talk to the court and figure out what to do," Chartock said.
If the search turns up dry, the money will be donated to charities and programs that Goodwill supports.
Watch the surveillance footage below: