Their Home Renovation Led To An FBI Investigation

Published on 04/06/2020
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A couple from Ohio was in the midst of renovations on their new home when they stumbled upon something incredible. They had just completed the first and second stories of their home and were beginning renovations with the basement. Little did they know a surprise was in store. They began to demolish the basement, as they hacked the plywood away. Suddenly, something caught their attention.

Demolition In Progress

They were curious about what they had found and decided to investigate further. They never in their wildest dreams expected that their findings would lead to an FBI investigation, what had they found?

Demolition In Progress

Demolition In Progress

Chipping Away

The walls were being chipped away and the husband had exposed some graffiti that was spread across the entire room. Well, this was a little weird. However, this was just the start…

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Chipping Away

A House Full Of Secrets

The owner was in absolute awe as he pulled back the wallpaper which was exposing more and more graffiti, drawings, writing and lots of it Little did he know that this was the start of a series of surprising finds.

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A House Full Of Secrets

Stuck In The Ceiling

It became noticed that there was some type of object lodged between the subfloor and the ceiling. As he went a little closer he saw that the object was stuck between the rafters, placed perfectly in fact. He had to solely grab the object and lodge it forwards, as he pulled it towards himself…

Stuck In The Ceiling

Stuck In The Ceiling

Found Something Strange

The homeowner was not so aware in the beginning and not very attentive. He kept on and cleaned the area around him as he went along. However, he did document each and every step which became very useful in the long run.

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Found Something Strange

Mysterious Suitcase

Some of the walls had already partly been destroyed as he began to break them down further. As he continued on, he came across this truly remarkable discovery. Turns out the object was a suitcase!

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Mysterious Suitcase

Waiting For The Reveal

It was green and grey, it had clearly been hidden with intentions of never being found. As he managed to lodge it free he realized it was incredibly heavy. Why would a suitcase of that size be so heavy?

Waiting For The Reveal

Waiting For The Reveal

One Heavy Suitcase

He felt a bit eary and somehow knew to be careful with it. He was feeling rather hot and bothered with excitement, what hidden surprises could possibly be in the suitcase? He took a couple of deep breaths and continued.

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One Heavy Suitcase

The Big Reveal

He called his wife and told her about his discovery. He did not want her to miss out on what could be inside. Secretly, he also wanted her to be there in case something may have gone wrong.

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The Big Reveal

What Could Be Inside?

After all, someone had gone to some serious lengths to hide this green suitcase and why? As he waited patiently for his wife’s return, he inspected the suitcase and was still astonished at just how heavy it was.

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What Could Be Inside?

Big Dreams In A Little Suitcase

The suitcase was rather small, but the mystery was huge, maybe what was inside it would be too. He simply pondered and wondered what could possibly be in this random suitcase. He thought it must be of value and importance if it was hidden so carefully and so strategically.

Big Dreams In A Little Suitcase

Big Dreams In A Little Suitcase

Maybe It was Nothing

He was still in disbelief at what he had found, it was pretty crazy. He genuinely needed to find out what was in this suitcase! The instant his wife arrived home- he explained what he had found.

Maybe It Was Nothing

Maybe It Was Nothing

Christmas

It must have felt just like the holiday season, he was about to unwrap a surprise he knew nothing about. The couple huddled together and there around some ideas of exactly what could be inside this treasure chest.

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Christmas

What’s Inside?

Would it be money? Jewels? Gold? The couple had low expectations and thought maybe it would just be filled with old collectibles, like sports cards or something. They were wrong, very wrong and in awe at what they had found…

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What’s Inside?

Unwrapping The Mystery

The couple opened he suitcase said by side, nothing seemed unusual at first. They found stacks of wax paper, they were rectangular shaped. At this moment, they still did not have an inkling of what was actually hidden in the suitcase.

Unwrapping The Mystery

Unwrapping The Mystery

Full of Money

It was only as the par removed the bundles that it all started piecing together. The couple began unwrapping the wads and removing the wax paper. They had finally come to the real contents, what was it?

Full of Money

Full of Money

Speechless Over The Money

He peeled off the waxy material bit by bit. When it suddenly became clear that they were looking at money! The bag had been hiding tons of $20 bills, it was packed with wads just like that one.

Speechless Over The Money

Speechless Over The Money

So Much Cash

As they inspected the bills closely they realized that they were really old. They simply could not believe the amount of money they had in front of them. Questions started to roll in, who, how, when?

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So Much Cash

And More Money

“These are all twenties! There may be a couple thousand here! We are freaking out at this point,” the husband later told the journalists. “This doesn’t happen to us! What do we do? Where are the cameras?”

And More Money

And More Money

Endless Cash

They were totally excited o unwrap all the bundles and see exactly how much was in the bag. Were all the bundles the same thing or were some more valuable than the one they had just discovered? They were taken aback as they stared at the bundles.

Endless Cash

Endless Cash

At First, It Was Funny

They prayed that they would find the same thing in all the other bundles. They eagerly carrier do unwrapping the additional bundles. However, there were not $20 bills but $50 and $100 notes instead.

At First It Was Funny

At First, It Was Funny

Old Money

“The second package didn’t have any twenties. It was all fifties! What is going on here? There could be 5 grand here! Wait! The third package is 100s! This is out of control!” he said later on. Their minds were racing and they had tons of unanswered questions.

Old Money

Old Money

Dating The Cash

This husband and his wife had just found stacks of money in their home, in the beginning, they thought it was rather funny. It soon became known that was actually no joking matter. Seriously, where had this money come from and who had put it away so mysteriously?

Dating The Cash

Dating The Cash

From the 1950s

Where had this money originated? The notes indicated that they were hidden ages ago, they dated back to the ’20s and ’30s. How many years, decades had it been since that era? And what was the value of the cash?

From the 1950s

From the 1950s

A Pleasant Surprise

As they looked into the matter further, it became known to the both of them. All the factors involved, the money and the suitcase were both very old. However, the couple still wanted to find out more details about the money.

A Pleasant Surprise

A Pleasant Surprise

They Had A Normal Life

They took out the bundles from the suitcase and found another clue to answer their questions, a few of them at least. A newspaper was spread out at the bottom, it was dated and the couple just looked at the paper and each other in amazement.

They Had A Normal Life

They Had A Normal Life

1951

The date was written in clear print: 25 March 1951. The paper was from a newspaper named the Cleveland Plain Dealer. It was a paper that was from those times and really old. The couple were in utter shock.

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1951

Had To Contact The Authorities

Besides from that, it was a local newspaper and obviously from that town. The couple were ecstatic with their new find and amazed. However, the question was still, exactly what was the value of the money was in the current currency?

Had To Contact The Authorities

Had To Contact The Authorities

More Things To Uncover

The couple were in shock that they had gotten so lucky. The next incredible aspect was that a few of the bills were star bills, meaning that they had never actually made it on to markets. These bills were from more than 7 decades prior.

More Things To Uncover

More Things To Uncover

Never-Ending Findings

What a great find! They were both surprised and amazed, they contacted a lawyer so that they can further evaluate how much the money is worth. The lawyer said that the estimated value of the cash on today’s market was $23,000.

Never-Ending Findings

Never-Ending Findings

Back To Work

After a long week filled with celebrations, lawyers and simply recovering from their astonishing find, the couple decided it was time to get back to normal day to day life. They were ecstatic but it had to come o an end at some point. However, the couple did not know that there was more in store…

Back To Work

Back To Work

And Here We Go Again

Regardless of finding such a surprise, a valuable one too, they had to complete their renovations on their home. This DIY genius was once again in total disbelief when he stumbled upon another suitcase that was awaiting in the ceiling…

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And Here We Go Again

Heavier Than The First

The husband was home alone once more when he found the second suitcase. He was in disbelief and riddled with excitement. How had he missed the second suitcase when he found the first one? He anxiously awaited his wife’s arrival, to open the next suitcase.

Heavier Than The First

Heavier Than The First

The New Suitcase

“This was a wild ride for us, and I hope you all enjoyed it, too,” the man explained when he wrote up on Reddit about the story. “We are boring people and have been dumping our extra money to pay off our mortgage, and that is where this money will go too.”

The New Suitcase

The New Suitcase

Same But Different

He once again had his camera in hand and captured everything. He never thought that he was going to find another surprise little did he think in the same place as before. Naturally, he became more curious.

Same But Different

Same But Different

The Search Continues

Could it be that even more mysteries were hidden in the walls of their home? Well,  they also could not just leave the basement in its destructive state. They made the decision to keep looking and see what they could find.

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The Search Continues

A Bigger Fortune

Little did they know that their next find would lead to the FBI’s involvement. The couple wanted to finish up on their renovations, thus, they decided to continue with the process. I mean the house was certainly not going to fix itself up.

A Bigger Fortune

A Bigger Fortune

The Wait Is Over

As soon as his wife walked through the door the pair scurried to open the suitcase. Just as the first one was, it was packed with cash. This couple’s luck was on a streak that’s for sure, the value of this suitcase was even more…

And The Wait Is Over

The Wait Is Over

What Else Was Hiding Here?

Little did they know that there was more than cash this time around. When the husband got back to work for the second time, he found another hidden surprise. This would be the third time, what could possibly be in the third case?

What Else Was Hiding Here?

What Else Was Hiding Here?

What They Found There

After finding treasure not once but twice they were extremely enthusiastic about their next find. Although this suitcase was different, it did not hold wads of wax paper or wads of money, but something else…

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What They Found There

The Final Count

They simply wandered if they were going to keep finding more and more of these as they continued renovating. He had a strong feeling that whatever he did find would be just as valuable if not more. And so o0nce again he waited for his wife to come home.

A Secret Door

A Secret Door

Big Secrets

This bag was identical in appearance to the last one and this made him think that it might have the same condiments. He wondered and waited, as soon as his wife arrived home they burst it open.

Big Secrets

Big Secrets

Finding Hiding Spots

This case was neatly packed with money. They could not believe it. How much money could it be now? They had to know if anything else was hidden in the house. This amount was way larger than their first find!

Finding Hiding Spots

Finding Hiding Spots

He Felt Nervous

The couple truly could no understand where this luck had come from. Would they be even luckier? Once again it was appraised and they learned that this case was valued at $45,000. The couple had run into a proper fortune.

He Felt Nervous

He Felt Nervous

What Else Would They Uncover?

They were in utter disbelief, they were over the moon with excitement. This made them even more determined to keep searching and keep going with their home improvement tasks. They were eager to see if there was more that could be discovered.

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What Else Would They Uncover?

Another Big Mystery

The changes in the basement were underway but they could not help but suspect that maybe elsewhere in the house was a hiding spot. Well, their next find would lead to the FBI’s involvement- they really never thought it would go this far.

Another Big Mystery

Another Big Mystery

Full Of Secrets

They were fully aware that the house was covered in mysteries and surprises, ones they simply had to reveal. They thought and thought about where their next spot to look would be, where else could something be hiding in the house?

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Full Of Secrets

A Secret Door

The excitement from the previous find had just subsided, the couple were once again working on their home and this is what had led them to find a strange door on the second floor of their house. They had always wondered what was behind the door. As they opened the door they felt strange about what they saw.

What They Found There

What They Found There

Tearing Down The Door

The door was supposedly covering where the water heater was, the realtor had told them it was nothing special. Their guts said otherwise, they felt that it was the perfect hiding place, if something valuable were to go anywhere it would be there.

Tearing Down The Door

Tearing Down The Door

He Found More Mysteries

So, the couple decided they would take a look. Their instincts were correct and they had found the biggest find of all. As they opened the small white door it became crystal clear that their realtor was not only deceitful but a liar.

He Found More Mysteries

He Found More Mysteries


This plumber had been having a regular day when he got the shock of his life. When he came upon it, he knew that it was not a normal day at the job. It was the first time that he ever saw anything like this.

Discovery Of A Lifetime

As he was opening the vent located behind the toilet, he found something sticking out from there. “How odd,” he thought but continued to work anyway. He just ripped open an old air vent from the bathroom wall when an assortment of curious objects began to tumble out from there! What was going on?

Discovery Of A Lifetime

Discovery Of A Lifetime

High Hopes

He was looking at faded squares of leather. They were all tattered but still intact. He took a closer look at them and figured out what they were. But what were they doing in a place like that? You see, Centralia High School had been through tons of disrepair before.

High Hopes

High Hopes

Getting Professional Help

Pastor Seth Baltzell from the City Hope Church had something in mind for the derelict school. In early 2019, he bought the building. He planned to use it as the new site of an outreach center and church for the CHC.

Getting Professional Help

Getting Professional Help

He Was Surprised

That was how he planned to give back to the community. He was shocked to hear about the stash of items that had been hidden in that spot. Before his plans could come to fruition, renovations must be made.

He Was Surprised

He Was Surprised

The Girls Bathroom

When he took a look at the bathrooms in the building, he saw that it was more than he could handle on his own. He had to ask a professional plumber to come in and help him! The man he hired was the one who made this incredible discovery. However, he opted to remain anonymous.

The Girls Bathroom

The Girls Bathroom

A Long History

From the ‘40s, teenagers got to learn lessons about love and life in this building. The classrooms were now crumbling as were the hallways. It was an old building, so it naturally had a lot of stories to tell.

A Long History

A Long History

A Big Mystery

Seth was aware that he would probably find a secret or two at one point. Even so, he was caught totally off guard when the plumber reported what he found in there. In July, Seth got to talk to KSDK News and explained it this way: “[The plumber] had demoed out part of the old girls’ bathroom here on the second floor in this old building.”

A Big Mystery

A Big Mystery

Too Much TV

“I think I’ve watched one too many episodes of CSI. The mystery, the intrigue of it all,” he went on. It makes sense that a building this old would bear some historical secrets. Perhaps the most surprising thing about this was that the artifacts all survived.

Too Much TV

Too Much TV

A Huge Revelation

He added, “When [the plumber] cut into the vent, just a whole bunch fell out.” But this was not where the story ends. It was just the start! It felt like there was an endless number of leather squares there.

A Huge Revelation

A Huge Revelation

Puzzle Pieces

The plumber saw one after the other as he checked out this hiding place right behind the toilet. They fell unto the floor. When he was done, he saw that there had been 15 wallets hiding in there all this time.

Puzzle Pieces

Puzzle Pieces

Old Photographs

But what could this possibly mean? Who were the owners of the wallets he found? And why were they in an air vent behind a bathroom toilet? The plumber knew that nothing about this story was at all ordinary.

Old Photographs

Old Photographs

What He Found

Seth arrived there and was just as confused. They wanted to get the answers to their questions, so they opened the wallets and checked their contents. It was not hard to tell that they were old, although he was able to determine just how old after they spotted one artifact.

What He Found

What He Found

The Artifacts

The leather on the wallets had already faded, but they were in good shape. Seth took one and opened the wallet to see what they contained. A few of them seemed unrecognizable, but there was one that made his jaw hit the floor.

The Artifacts

The Artifacts

Who Did It?

“While someone took the cash, they left behind all the pictures, information and other documents,” he explained on his Facebook post. But what was going on? He was surprised by the contents of the wallet.

Who Did It?

Who Did It?

Looking For The Owners

When it came to size, the wallets were all medium. However, they contained a lot of things such as old photos. Even if he did this, he did not have any idea who the owners could possibly be. He continued his search since he was curious about how long they had been hiding in there.

Looking For The Owners

Looking For The Owners

Long Ago

It did not occur to Seth that these wallets from a long time in the past. He spotted a couple of photos that looked like they were taken decades ago. Even though they were all tucked away in that spot for a significant period of time, the contents all appeared to be intact.

Long Ago

Long Ago

Old Photos

The photos had images of men, women, kids, and older people. Seth could not figure out who could have owned this collection of wallets based on them. They kept checking the wallets to find out more information about them.

Old Photos

Old Photos

Time Period

“The war was ending, you know, so there are lots of things… pictures, from soldiers,” Seth shared. Apart from the old photos, there were also handwritten ID cards inside of the wallets. They saw that they all belonged to students who attended Centralia High School. Interestingly, they were all female students.

Time Period

Time Period

Making Sense Of Things

Seth explained that the wallets managed to shed some light on an interesting period in American history. The Second World War just ended and so did the Great Depression. The times were changing not only rapidly but also drastically.

Making Sense Of Things

Making Sense Of Things

The Mid-1940s

Seth noticed the dates listed on the contents and felt shocked by what he saw. These girls all attended the school back in the mid ‘40s. It means that the wallets were 75 years old, give or take. “We tried to categorize them by the different names,” he explained.

Mid-1940s

The Mid-1940s

Odd Theory

However, what was the reason the wallets had been there and not with their owners? He had a rather strange theory in mind. After all, Seth could not think of a sensible explanation about why these girls would choose to leave the wallets there.

Odd Theory

Odd Theory

Wallet Thief

“All the pictures seemed to be between 1945 and 1946. Best we can tell is that someone was stealing wallets and then ditched them behind the toilets in a heat vent,” Seth went on. The collection had been hiding in the air vent for decades. It took three-quarters of a century for the plumber to stumble upon it.

Wallet Thief

Wallet Thief

No Longer Living

“Most likely, the person that’s owned the wallet is either at the end of their lifespan or no longer living. My best chance was to reconnect with one of their relatives,” Seth shared during one interview. He also said, “We’ve been working on this building for six months. I’ve been kind of waiting for that cool thing that nobody’s seen in the last 75 or 100 years to pop out.” He was aware that it was a pretty long shot, but he had to try to return them at the very least.

No Longer Living

No Longer Living

Meaningful Memories

Why was Seth so determined to look for the owners of the wallets? He said, “You never know the story behind someone’s family or what was in there for someone. Maybe a picture could mean a whole lot.” He also added, “My goal was to have some reconciliation or redemption in this situation. Maybe it’s important to somebody.”

Meaningful Memories

Meaningful Memories

Facebook Post

Since they had been stored there for such a long time, the police had been unable to track down the wallet thief. Seth decided to write a Facebook post in his quest to look for answers. He said, “I’m gonna throw some names in here of what appears to be mostly women, so these are probably maiden names.”

Facebook Post

Facebook Post

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