Last Week a Lost Envelope Containing $1450 Was Returned to the Owner With the Help of an HSU Instructor and a Police Evidence Tech


Humboldt State University [Photo by Oliver Cory]

Information from Humboldt State News:

A good deed and some detective work reunited more than $1,000 with its owner at HSU last week.

“As I was walking by the HSU Library, I saw an envelope from a local bank just sitting on the ground,” says Biology instructor Daniel Burrell. “I picked it up and the first thing I noticed was how heavy it was. I thought there has to be a fair amount of money in here. Instantly I figured it was a student’s rent, scholarship, or tuition money. It wasn’t too long ago that I was a student and so I remember how hard money was to come by.”

Burrell turned in the envelope, which contained $1,450, to the University Police. Evidence Technician Zan Mendonca was able to trace the bank slip back to the bank, who identified the owner. “We got lucky. He was stoked,” Mendonca says. “People just assume in this world that lost money is pretty much gone.”

UPD Chief Donn Peterson says the act – starting with Burrell turning in the money – reflects on the values of HSU. “There’s an awful lot of integrity on display,” he says.

For Burrell’s part, he was happy to turn someone’s week around. “I was so relieved that it found its way home,” he says.



  • Such good news!

  • We too often forget that most people are good at heart.

  • There is hope in the world.

  • I’ve returned a couple wallets over the years, two cell phones, an earring, some cash I found on the floor at target, keys,… and I didn’t write the newspapers about it. It’s just something you do. Do it because it’s the right thing to do, not because you want to brag about it to the press. Seriously. I can not imagine fucking writing the press about this.

    • Cough….he did not write us. Humboldt State University was likely alerted by the campus police to whom he turned in the envelope and they wrote the story. It’s nice to do good things. But there’s nothing wrong with people (even the dreaded media) acknowledging that there are good people doing good things in this world. I hope you won’t be too offended if I offer you my thanks for helping get items back to their owners.

    • Not so much bragging as it is letting people know its ok to be cool and have compassion and return something that doesn’t belong to you. I think this helps empower others to make the right decision. Yes, “throw the corn but call no fowl”.

  • FortunaSmBizOwner

    It’s so nice to hear these stories!! We own a local business in Fortuna and yesterday my husband returned $8,000 cash to a guy who forgot it was in a bag of DVDS he was trading in. So yes, I’m happy to say there’s a few human beings left in this world with a good hearts & moral compass’s. It’s so nice to hear about these Lil stories. It makes me smile & keeps my faith in the human race and proves that not everyone left in the world is a jackass, thief and/or liar(s)!! Just the majority sadly…

  • Thanks for posting the story. I appreciate hearing the good news. And if you don’t, why not just move along instead of trying to make the good people seem like attention whores? Some people just need to find fault in everything.

  • Thx for not deleting my post

    Hsu staff already steals enough of your money in tuition. What would of been really amazing is if a student had found this bag and returned it.

  • I left my wallet on the salmon river onetime and didn’t notice until I got home that it was missing. I couldn’t get back up that way for a week, but when I did, it was sitting right on the same rock, with a few people on the beach relaxing. Good people up that way in Orleans:)

  • Zan is the best. American Hero! Yeah baby!

  • hop on the bus Gus

    This is good news ,glad they got it back.If you ever want to create chaos in the grocery line, pretend to drop something ,bend over , to “pick it up “and shout “Did anyone lose a Ten Dollar Bill?”

  • only in humboldt does the police return the found money to a seller of 2 pounds

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