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Wendy Reuer, Published December 10 2013

Dilworth woman 'never really had second thoughts about it,' returns $2,800 in cash to owner

MOORHEAD – When 19-year-old Erica Clark found an envelope full of crisp $100 bills in a McDonald’s parking lot here, she couldn’t help but wonder if someone’s Christmas had just been ruined.

“All I could think about was what if someone was going Christmas shopping and all their money was gone,” she said.

Clark had stopped for lunch at the Eighth Street McDonald’s and was returning to her car on Tuesday afternoon when she found the Wells Fargo envelope stuffed with $2,800.

Without hesitation, she took steps to find a way to get the money back to its rightful owner.

“I never really had any second thoughts about it,” she said. “I really didn’t know what to do, but I knew I wanted to turn it in right away. I just didn’t know where.”

Inside the envelope, along with the money, was a bank receipt from Wells Fargo but no name was included. Clark called her father, who suggested she take the money to the Moorhead Police Department.

Meanwhile, a Sabin man was planning to buy a truck from a private seller.

He had gone to the bank to take out cash for the sale, but was told the truck would not be ready for an hour. To kill some time, he stopped for lunch at McDonald’s.

But when he arrived to pick up the truck, his cash was missing.

The man became frantic, and returned to the Moorhead Wells Fargo, thinking he may have left the money there.

When he arrived, police and bank staff let him know Clark had returned the money. The man, who has not been identified by police or Clark, told officers he feared the money was lost forever.

“She deserves a lot of credit for her character,” Lt. Tory Jacobson said.

The man reached out to Clark shortly after learning she returned his money on Tuesday afternoon. Clark said the man wants to thank her for her kindness in person and the two plan to meet this week.

Clark, who is studying elementary inclusive education at Minnesota State University Moorhead, said she doesn’t expect a reward.

“I was just really hoping they would be able to find him,” she said.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530