Cashback makes good news better

IT'S A case of a good news story getting even better.

In January, The Northern Star reported on a Sydney family who had discovered a wallet and $3155 in notes blowing around on the side of the highway at Tyagarah.

After finding a business card, they called the owner – 61-year-old Loganlea concreter Des Merry, who was just 10 minutes further along the highway, sick with worry.

Mr Merry had left the wallet on the back of his truck at a break and was sure he would never see it again.

The money was his earnings from a two-week job in Sydney, and losing it would have left him and his wife in dire straits.

A few hundred dollars remained unaccounted for. Mr Merry was just grateful to have most of it back.

The story took a new twist recently when the missing $300 showed up.

Ballina man John Murray, who works with the NSW Business Chamber, had spotted it by the side of the road on a trip back from Brisbane in January.

He had not seen The Northern Star article and handed the money to Ballina police.

Three months passed, after which Mr Murray was entitled to keep the money. His son did a little detective work to see whether he could find the owner.

He Googled it, found The Northern Star story, and was able to track Mr Merry down.

Mr Merry's wife, Susan, said the phone call came out of the blue.

“We got this call from John Murray who said ‘have you lost some money lately?',” she said.

“Des said – what do you mean – on the horses or what?”

It was a complete shock to discover it was the missing money.

“We didn't think that there would be any chance of getting it back. No way in the world,” she said.

“And to think that he did all that legwork to find us is amazing.”

Ballina police are sending the money to the Merrys.

“You wouldn't believe how amazed and thankful we are,” Mrs Merry said.

“It's not just the money, it's the way it all came together, like a little jigsaw puzzle.”

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