Teen turns in lost money, police decide to keep it

PLANO, TX (WFAA/CNN) – A teen who returned an envelope overflowing with money will not get to keep the money since the owner was never found.

"It was so full that it was bursting, like it was breaking the envelope," said 15-year-old Ashley Donaldson, who came across the money during a walk in February.

Ashley took the money and turned it into the bank. The bank was surprised to see such honesty, but her parents were not.

"It was like an experience that presented itself," said Ashley's father, Ben Donaldson. "It said Chase bank on the envelope."

When Ashley found the envelope, she was living in a one-bedroom apartment with her four brothers and sisters and her two parents. In spite of living in such a small space with seven people, she believed the $2,000 was more important to someone else.

"It could be someone's life," Ashley said. "It could be someone's home, you know, and I just thought if I took it, then I could never live down that guilt that would be in me."

The Donaldsons say the police told them the money would go back to the teen if an owner was not found.

But police now say the money will instead go to the city's general fund.

"We appreciate your honesty, and we're going to put the money to necessary use," Cpl. Kevin Janse. "It's not going to be wasted by any means, it's going to go to good use by the city of Dallas."

Dallas police now say the department will follow protocol in how to handle the money. If no one comes forward to claim the money in 90 days, they say it will be returned to Ashley.

Listeners called in to a local radio station to donate money as a reward for Ashley. On Thursday, the station presented her with a check for $3,000.

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