COLTON, California -- A California woman made a startling discovery after bringing home a set of sofas she found on Craigslist -- more than $36,000 in cash hidden inside one of the cushions.
It all started when Vicky Umodu, of Colton in San Bernardino County, started looking through online ads for furniture for her new home.
As she scrolled through Craigslist, she found two sofas and a matching chair that someone was giving away for free.
"I said, 'Maybe it's a gimmick.' I said, 'Let me call them,'" Umodu said.
It turns out the family that was giving away the furniture explained that a loved one had recently passed away, and they were liquidating everything on the property.
Umodu said the two sofas and chair worked perfectly in her new home.
"I just moved in, and I don't have anything in my house. I was so excited, so we picked it up and brought it in," Umodu said.
But when she got home and was examining the sofas more closely, she discovered something strange. There was some kind of unknown item inside one of the cushions.
"I thought it was a heat pad," said Umodu, who immediately discounted that theory because there was no electrical cord.
When she finally unzipped the cushion and looked inside, she discovered several envelopes filled with thousands of dollars in cash.
"I was just telling my son, 'Come, come, come!' I was screaming, 'this is money! I need to call the guy.'"
The family told our sister station KABC-TV that it was $36,000.
Umodu said she was never tempted to keep what she found. She said she immediately gave the money back to the family who gave her the furniture.
"God has been kind to me and my children, they're all alive and well. I have three beautiful grandchildren, so what can I ever ask from God?" Umodu said.
Umodu said when she returned the money, the family told her they had discovered other cash hidden throughout the rest of the house, but only a few hundred dollars.
The family is not sure why the deceased man may have hidden so much money inside his couch.
As a way of saying thank you, they agreed to give Umodu $2,200, money she needed to buy a new refrigerator.
"I was not expecting a dime from him, I was not," she said.