Good Samaritan returns $715 to blind woman

Published 2:14 pm Tuesday, July 16, 2019

A Middlesboro woman visiting Harlan earlier this month thought she lost over $700. She soon discovered, however, that a Good Samaritan found the money.

A Harlan woman found and turned in a Ziploc bag containing $715 belonging to a legally blind woman from Middlesboro. Harlan City Police Department officer Derrick Noe was able to find Cathrine Hoskins, a Middlesboro resident, and return the lost bag.

On July 5, a client at the Harlan food stamp office found a Ziploc bag containing a number of different things, including a doctor’s office appointment slip, two receipts and money in the amount of $715. Instead of pocketing the money, the woman turned in the bag to the office workers. Gary Farmer, the manager of the office and county school board chairman, proceeded to lock the bag in a safe in hopes that the woman would return.

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Noe said the woman stopped at the police station around 4 p.m. that day asking for officers to search the Commissary for her bag, thinking it was the last place she had been with it, but police were unable to find the bag.

After the Fourth of July weekend, Farmer brought the lost bag to the police station on Wednesday.

Noe searched the bag to try and find some form of I.D. and discovered an appointment slip for a doctor’s office in Middlesboro. Noe called the office and asked if the name on the slip was a doctor or a patient. The receptionist said the woman was a client at the doctor’s office, but she was unable to release any of her information due to their privacy policy.

Noe asked the receptionist to contact the patient and ask if she had been missing anything, and if so, to call the police station in Harlan.

Noe said within five minutes of their call, the receptionist was able to contact the patient and have her call the police station. Without hesitating, Noe said the woman identified the bag as her own, without being questioned on the appearance or contents of the bag.

Noe asked the lady to come to the police station with a valid I.D. to confirm that the bag was hers again. The woman told the officer that because she was legally blind, she would need to find a ride first.

An hour later at 1:15 p.m., Hoskins confirmed the bag was in fact hers.

“We had Gary come over and talk to her a little,” Noe said. “She said she was very appreciative that someone honest turned it in.”

Farmer told Hoskins he would be sure to let the client at the food stamp office know how appreciated she was.

“Gary told her how thankful the woman was for her,” Noe said.

Hoskins left the police station with the bag, which was missing none of its contents.