Good Samaritan returns nearly $7,000 to church

Good Samaritan returns nearly $7,000 to church
CENTRALIA, Wash. - What could have been a catastrophic loss turned into a lesson in honesty yesterday when a staffer at a Centralia church lost a bag containing nearly $7,000, only to have a good Samaritan return the money untouched.

For ten years, Kris Erickson has deposited her church's weekly offerings, and the money has always made it safely to the bank.

That almost changed yesterday, when she absentmindedly placed a bag stuffed with $6,700 in cash and checks on top of her car and drove off.

When she arrived at the bank, Erickson realized the money was missing.

"First, I started praying 'Oh God let it be there,' and then it wasn't and I was praying 'God, let it be at the church,'" she said.

Unfortunately for Erickson, the bag had fallen off her car in the middle of a busy intersection, but she was fortunate that Butch Mosteller spotted it on his drive to work.

Despite being a man of modest means who lives on social security and pinches pennies, Mosteller knew he couldn't keep the money. Forty years ago, a mother and son returned Mosteller's lost wallet, and he learned a lesson about honesty that he's lived with ever since.

"I could have done a lot with it, but I couldn't bring myself to do that," he said.

Instead, he called the church and told them he found their money.

For her part, Erickson said she has also learned a valuable lesson and will never leave anything on her car again.