For four decades, the 1-ton safe sat in the back of a family shoe store, and as the years rolled past, its secrets were seemingly forgotten. When the family closed up shop, renting the building to a shoe repairman, the safe stayed put. No one remembered the combination. No one knew what to do with it.
Now, everyone is rushing to stake a claim.
Dumped in a vacant lot in neighboring Lawrence last November as an obsolete, oversize nuisance, the old-fashioned vault was discovered to hold a small fortune - $178,496 in crisp currency. The money was packed in blue bank envelopes, wrapped in old Daher's Shoes shopping bags and a white Nike T-shirt, and tucked in a locked compartment.
The surprise discovery is the target of an intra-family court battle involving four competing parties, though none can explain why someone would stash so much money away and apparently not tell anyone.