A quarter-century after a mother’s purse full of beloved valuables disappeared in Anderson County, South Carolina, the heartbroken woman’s presumed-stolen purse turned up in near-perfect condition.
Ben Meyers and an 11-year-old family member were fishing from a dock in Lake Hartwell, South Carolina, when the child caught something heavy and began reeling it in, thinking it was a big fish.
“I get my net and he gets it to the top of the water, all of a sudden I see it’s a purse,” Meyers told WYFF. “I said: ‘Man you ain’t caught no fish, you caught a treasure!'”
Once the purse was on the dock, Meyers opened it up and poked around inside. He found credit cards and store cards — some from companies that no longer exist — and immediately recognized the name. As it turned out, the owner of the purse was a family friend of his. He got in touch with the woman and returned the well-preserved bag.
That woman, a resident of the area, was identified by WYFF as April Deanhardt, though WHNS reported her name as April Bolt.
In 1992, the woman left the purse in her docked boat while she and her husband, Kyle Bolt, ate dinner with her parents. She was 32 and a new mom at the time.
She said there were two fishermen nearby, but she never thought they would steal her purse.
That, however, is exactly what she assumed happened. When she and her husband returned from the family meal, the woman said her purse had vanished.
“I was devastated, I was crying,” April told WHNS. “I knew it was going to be a lot of work trying to cancel all my credit cards and license. The main thing was my little boy was 15 months old and all his pictures were in there.”
When she learned a quarter of a century later that Meyers accidentally reeled in the bag, the woman was ecstatic to see her possessions returned to her — despite the photos of her son having significant water damage from many years at the bottom of the lake.
“It’s quite humorous, considering the wallet, perfume, lipsticks, numerous credit cards from stores that were open 25 years ago, family pictures, 52 cents in change, a check book, a teasing comb, etc. — it’s a serious time capsule!” April told WYFF.