FLORENCE, Ky. (AP) -- A northern Kentucky mother is overjoyed after a Good Samaritan returned a purse containing nearly $4,000 in cash.
Autumn Miller, who lives with her mother and two children in a motel room, told The Kentucky Enquirer (http://cin.ci/FPI0gJ ) she was planning to use part of the money to move her family into a house and part of it to buy a car.
She was shopping with her family for a car on March 3 when they decided to stop at Best Buy in Florence "just to go look." Miller said she forget her purse in the shopping cart when they left the store.
"I was mad at myself, I was crying," she said. "It had the money in it to get me my own car and get us a house so we can get out of the motel."
They rushed back, but the purse was gone. Miller filled out a police report.
"We were really terrified, it had everything in it," Miller said, including birth certificates, Social Security cards and the cash, which was from her income tax return and savings.
"I just prayed to God that somebody would be nice and turn my purse in," she said.
Five days later, police called to say a Good Samaritan, Brandon Palmer, had turned it in to the Villa Hills Police Department after unsuccessfully searching for her.
Villa Hills Police called Florence police to ask if anyone had reported a purse stolen, and then Florence police called Miller.
She said at first she assumed the cash would be gone, but then police told her it was all there.
"I cried, it's all I could do," Miller said. "I told the lady on the phone that she was best lady in the world and I wanted to give her a big hug. I was in shock."
She picked up the purse and found that Palmer, who works at the Veteran's Affairs Medical Center in Cincinnati, had left his business card at the police department.
She called to thank him and offer a reward, which he declined.
"I'm so thankful for him, it's helping me out a lot," she said.
Florence Police Capt. Linny Cloyd said it's lucky for Miller that her purse was found by an honest person.
"Whether it's cash or whether it's identity, there are those people who would prey on that in a heartbeat as opposed to doing the right thing," he said. "That's what makes this a great story as opposed to a tragic story."
Information from: The Kentucky Enquirer, http://www.nky.com