A homeless man found $77,000 in a park in his Texan town — and he gets to keep it.
City Council deemed that Timothy Yost, 46, can keep the bag of money he found on the banks of the Colorado River in Fisherman's Park in Bastrop, Texas, after detectives failed to locate the original owner.
In January, Yost was about to leave town. He was looking for a spot in the river where he could wash his feet when he came across a bag that jingled when he kicked it.
"I went down to wash my feet. They were ugly. They were gross. And I'm down there and I'm kicking myself. I'm like, 'Lord, do you want me to leave?' He said, 'Go over and look at that bag,'" Yost told Austin's Fox 7 News. "I walk off the trail and I walk into the woods and there's a bag sitting there."
He opened it to find damp bills and 40 gold Krugerrand coins from South Africa.
Yost tried to exchange the bills at a local back, but the teller insisted the bills would have to dry first. The teller then called the police, who placed the large sum in evidence.
Bastrop police detective Tamera Brown launched an investigation into the bag of money, involving the FBI and a bank-fraud investigation team, but found no evidence that it had been involved in any criminal activity. While several people stepped forward following an ad in the local paper, no one could prove their claim to the money.
After the futile search for the source of the money, City Council voted 6-0 to give the money to Yost, reports the Austin American-Statesman.
"Under common law in Texas, typically if it is buried and we are not able to find the rightful owner for the funds within the prescribed time period, then the finder of the funds can petition to be awarded those funds," Bastrop Police Chief Michael Blake said.
"I hope this man can find some benefit in this; I hope it gives him an opportunity to change his particular circumstances," Bastrop Mayor Terry Orr said. "That's just Terry talking as a human being. But I think the rest of the council would feel the same way."
Yost, who was in jail this week on charges of public intoxication and criminal trespassing, says he plans to purchase a car with the money.
"I've been walking for so long; the first thing I want is a vehicle," Yost told MSNBC.