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$10,000 found, owner unknown. Is it yours?

$10,000 found: When a 10-year-old found $10,000 cash in a Kansas City hotel room, he and his dad promptly turned it over to the police, who are still looking for its owner.

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This lockbox contained $20,000 of drug money. The $10,000 that Tyler Schaefer found in a Kansas City hotel room was stacked neatly in a drawer when the curious 10-year-old found it. He turned it over to the police, who are looking for its rightful owner. If no one comes forward, Tyler gets to keep the $10,000, under Missouri law.

Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York / AP

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A 10-year-old boy who found $10,000 in a drawer at a Kansas City hotel where he was staying with his dad turned the money over to police.

Tyler Schaefer found the neatly stacked bills Saturday in the room where he and his father, Cody Schaefer, were staying at a hotel near the airport, The Kansas City Star reported. Cody Schaefer, a truck driver and mechanic from Rapid City, S.D., meets his former wife in Kansas City every year to get his three children for summer vacation.

Cody Schaefer said Tyler, a Cub Scout, is always on the lookout for clues and treasure.

"He looks for stuff at random," Schaefer said of his son. "He's very observant."

Schaefer said after they checked into their room Saturday, Tyler began opening all the drawers, and it wasn't too long before Tyler announced: "I found money!"

Schaefer thought maybe his son had found a forgotten $10 bill, but when he looked closer he saw the stack of bills totaling $10,000. He wondered if the bills were fake, but saw they had the appropriate watermarks and seemed legitimate.

"We didn't know what to do at first," Schaefer said.

Schaefer told his son they couldn't keep the cash because they didn't know who it belonged to. They handed the money over to two off-duty police officers working security at the hotel. The officers contacted Sgt. Randy Francis, a property and evidence supervisor, who stored the cash at a police facility.

Police said it's unclear how long the money had been there, and they can't track down every guest who stayed in that room recently. Police spokesman Capt. Tye Grant said Thursday no one had claimed the money yet.

According to a Missouri statute, lost money could revert to a finder after about seven months if no one can prove ownership. But the owner then has another year to prove the money is his or hers and claim it from the finder.

"I didn't come there with $10,000 and I didn't leave with $10,000," Cody Schaefer said. "So it was a wash."

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