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Thornton woman says her life savings is gone after she stored the money in her freezer

Posted at 3:20 PM, Sep 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-22 17:27:06-04

THORNTON – A Thornton woman battling multiple sclerosis says she left nearly $35,000 in her refrigerator, and when she had the unit replaced realized the cash was gone.

But Renee Reese says this wasn’t just some cash, this was everything, her life savings and now she’s working to track it down. Reese says the search for her life savings started in June.

Since then, Reese, her family, and friends have been battling with Costco to find answers on what happened to the cold hard cash. Renee says the money inadvertently walked out her front door when the delivery people exchanged her defective fridge for a new one.

Giving a whole new meaning to the joke, “is your refrigerator running?” But in this case, it’s no joke.

“My assumption is that I had about 35-thousand in there,” Reese said.  “The financial strain has devastated me and because I’m so sick I don’t have any way to recover it.”

Reese also has an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis, which is quickly destroying her mobility. That is what prompted the need for the newly improved refrigerator.

“You’re in here, you’re pulling out a large item without a disability, the doors need to stay open,” Reese said.

That is also why she used her freezer as a temporary savings account for her small business, to help limit her physical trips to the actual bank. “It was a safe place to put it in case there was a fire.”

As bad luck would have it, the money was in large bills wrapped in a white paper towel that looked like the inside of the freezer door. So, in a quick hurry to clean out the old appliance, her family just didn’t see it.

“I thought my daughter had grabbed it, she thought I had grabbed it, then when I went to look for it to put it back, it wasn’t there.”

Reese says a police report has been filed and Costco opened a claim for her saying the company found the old fridge, but with no money inside. Reese has expressed frustration in Costco not having done more to resolve the situation or question the four to five employees involved.

In the meantime, she says she wants all the “armchair critics” to understand it isn’t as crazy as it sounds.

“There’s a thousand reasons why I couldn’t get to the bank. I wasn’t physically able to.”