Colton woman finds $36k in free chair from Craigslist, returns it to owner

Wanting to be closer to her grandchildren, Vicky Umodu moved into a home in Colton in late April — but she had one problem: she had to find some furniture to fill her empty house. 

She eventually made her way to Craigslist and navigated the site until she stumbled upon the “Free Section.” 

“The first thing that came to mind was ‘Oh [this is a] gimmick,” said Umodu. “I just said let me just call them and see.” 

The person on the other line was getting rid of things owned by his uncle who passed away. Umodu asked him for the entire living room set and the man responded with “take it.” 

“It was very nice of him,” said Umodu. “I told him I’m really, really grateful”

A week later, while Umodu began rearranging the furniture, she picked up the cushion and felt something weird. 

At first, she thought it was a heating pad but there was no cord. She unzipped the cushion and found a bag full of envelopes filled with $36,000. 

“And then I’m calling my son,” said Umodu. “Come, come, come, come and see. Money, money, money!”

Within seconds, her son called the chair’s former owner. Umodu said she immediately invited the man over to her house to retrieve the envelopes. When he arrived and entered the kitchen he that Umodu was missing a fridge. 

“He gave the money [to] me,” she said. “For us to buy a new fridge.” 

Umodu worked with the man to find a new refrigerator and eventually found one for $2200. The man paid for it in full. 

“I wasn’t expecting a dime,” said Umodu. “I didn’t expect him to give me anything. He doesn’t have to. That belongs to them. They need to keep it.” 

Umodu said the thought of keeping the $36,000 never crossed her mind and always intended to give it back to the rightful owner.

“I just think it’s just doing the right thing,” she said.