LEBANON, IN (CNN/WXIN) -- Some documents found in a dusty Indiana barn years ago have resulted in a big payday for one family. Thieves stole the documents in the 1980s. A couple found them 15 years ago. Now, after years of searching, the mystery is solved.
In the dark corners of a rusty old barn, you never know what you might find. Mike Ranney's big find came 15 years ago. He says, "It was in a plastic sleeve, and each one of 'em was in a bank sleeve."
It was quite the discovery, and clearly quite old. Turns out what he found were savings bonds that dated back to the 1970s. The name on them: Harold Hastings.
Mike and his wife Angie got to work. Fifteen years, many fruitless searches, until, that is, this year. Angie says, "I thought, you know, I'll just Google him one more time."
The Ranneys found Hastings' kids, the ones those bonds were supposed to go to. Mark asys, "I was actually very nervous to call them because I was afraid they were gonna hang up on me."
Instead, they were greeted by amazement. Bob Hastings says, "I figured years ago it had all disappeared, so this is just a surprise out of the blue."
Bob Hastings and his siblings, all living out of state, knew about the bonds. They'd been stolen from their dad's safe in 1980. He says, "He told my sister he was sorry, he said, 'I had some stuff for you but I'm afraid it got stolen and I don't think I can recover it.'"
And maybe most amazing of all, Angie totaled the bonds and they are now worth $70,000. Hastings says, "I was like this can't be right. We just thought it was a small amount, he never mentioned an amount." All because of a chance encounter in a dusty old barn.
The Ranneys say they hope anyone would do the same, but Hastings knows this discovery was once in a lifetime. He says, "These people took that much trouble to track us down, very thankful."
Mark says, "Yeah, their dad hopefully is looking down and smiling."
It is still not known how those savings bonds got into that barn. The thief was never found.