A plumber renovating the former Centralia High School in Centralia, Illinois, unearthed a 75-year-old trove of memories in late June. 

Inside a bathroom wall heat vent, he discovered 15 women’s wallets, all from students at the school in the mid-1940s. The cash was missing, but photographs, IDs and other materials were still in the billfolds. 

“The time this is from, the war is ending,” said Seth Baltzell, pastor of the City Hope Church, which is converting the building. “So there are lots of things like pictures of soldiers.” 

Baltzell posted pictures of the wallets on Facebook, and relatives of 89-year-old Betty June Sissom of Chesterfield, Missouri, saw them. 

“I remember I lost my wallet,” Sissom told KSDK. “Oh my goodness, look at the boys’ pictures I have... They took all the money, huh?” Sorry, Betty. That’s a really cold case.