May 20, 2011 in Nation/World

Family finds small fortune, returns it

Chi-Chi Zhang Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Josh and Tara Ferrin turn over bags of money and ammo boxes to Dennis and Kay Bangerter, sons of the former owner in Bountiful, Utah.
(Full-size photo)

SALT LAKE CITY – When Josh Ferrin closed on his family’s first home, he never thought he’d make the discovery of a lifetime – then give it back.

Ferrin picked up the keys earlier this week and decided to check out the house in the Salt Lake City suburb of Bountiful. He was excited to finally have a place his family could call their own.

As he walked into the garage, a piece of cloth that clung to an attic door caught his eye. He opened the hatch and climbed up the ladder, then pulled out a metal box that looked like a World War II ammunition case.

Then he found seven more boxes, all stuffed full with tightly wound rolls of cash bundled together with twine – more than $40,000, it turned out.

Ferrin thought about how such a large sum of money could go a long way, pay bills, buy things he never thought he could afford.

“I’m not perfect, and I wish I could say there was never any doubt in my mind. We knew we had to give it back, but it doesn’t mean I didn’t think about our car in need of repairs, how we would love to adopt a child and aren’t able to do that right now, or fix up our outdated house that we just bought,” Ferrin said.

He thought about the home’s previous owner, Arnold Bangerter, who died in November and left the house to his children.

Bangerter purchased the home in 1966 and lived there with his wife, who died in 2005.

After most of the money was counted, Ferrin called one of Bangerter’s sons with the news.

Kay Bangerter said he knew his father hid away money because he once found a bundle of cash taped beneath a drawer in their home, but he never considered his dad had stuffed away so much over the years.

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