Discovery During Home Renovation Shocks Owners and Leads to an FBI Investigation

Renovating a house often leads to discoveries. Most of these discoveries aren’t quite pleasant -- like foundation damage, molds, and pests and the like. For one Ohio couple, their dreams of transforming their 1940 Cleveland home was quite unique. Their startling discovery was really of good news. Well so they thought… but soon they they find out something that had them think otherwise.

Some years ago, a couple moved into this mid-century modern suburban home, hoping to turn it into their dream home. Soon after, they started the renovations. The first phase was to fix up the basement and the attic.

Some time into the renovation, they stumbled upon an astounding discovery. Then, the discoveries kept coming, one after the other. Suddenly, the excitement of having their dream home shifted into horror. But what were these discoveries? How could these be so terrible that it would alert the FBI?

A Very Disturbing Demolition

Phase one of the renovation involved the basement. Old walls were torn down. There wasn’t anything alarming or unusual about the basement; it just had graffiti on its walls -- white symbols to be exact of something they can’t quite figure out.

Not minding the graffiti, it was then time to take down the ceiling. But unlike the walls, ceiling had something that the couple didn’t know would change their lives from that day.

Starting Phase One

So the DIY homeowner started taking down the ceiling. As the pieces crashed down to the floor, he noticed something hidden. It was a vintage looking gray and green case that was propped against a pipe. It was perfectly squeezed between the rafters.

Intrigued and alarmed about his discovery, he stopped the demolition. He immediately called his wife to come home from work. What mystery was inside the metal case?

Waiting for the Reveal

While waiting for his wife to come home from work, he took the metal case with him outside. As he was documenting the renovation of their home since day one, he took photos of the case too.

What he found quite odd was that the case was heavy for its small size. What could the case have inside to be that heavy?

Small Metal Case, Big Dreams

His wife finally got home. The couple wanted to have a little fun, so before opening the case, they gave their guesses on what could be inside.

The metal case obviously looked old. The husband was guessing that it could be a deck of antique sports cards. The wife was guessing that perhaps it was a collection of old recipes.

Opening the Metal Case

The couple opened the case. Their excitement turned into confusion as soon as they lifted the cover.

The first thing they saw was all yellowish wax paper. The paper was used to wrap some rectangular looking objects.

Bundles of.... CASH

The husband removed the wrapping from one of the rectangular objects. After taking out layers of wax paper he was surprised to see a giant stack of $20 bills.

That was just a bundle. There were other bundles in the case. Would it be more money? Or would it be something even more valuable than money?

...and more CASH

The excitement didn’t end with the first bundle. They were hoping too that the other bundles contained more money.

They unwrapped the second bundle. They were shocked; it didn’t contain $20 bills. Instead, they were full of $50 bills. What astounded them more was that the third bundle had $100 bills.

Where did all the money come from? These were all old bills -- dated between 1928 to 1934. But how old was the metal case anyway? How long has it been hidden in the basement’s ceiling? How much are these rare old bills worth today?

Blast from the Past

So just how old was the metal case and how long has it been hidden? Something inside the case gave a clue. There was a copy of an old newspaper at the bottom of all those bundles.

The old newspaper was a copy of the couple’s hometown paper, The Cleveland Plain-Dealer. It was dated March 25, 1951. Based on the paper and the age of the bills, it seemed the Cleveland home had been hiding the fortune for more than 65 years. So how much value did the old bills have? And was there anything else in the home apart from the money?

Lucky Indeed

The couple sought professional help to figure out the value and other details about the “treasure” they found. They found out that most of the bills were more than their face value. Some of them were star bills that never been circulated, and they were more than 70 years old. Everything in the case was worth $23,000.

Ecstatic over their discovery, the husband shared their incredible discovery on his Reddit account. He posted: “We are boring people and have been dumping our extra money to pay off our mortgage, and that is where this money will go too.”

The Renovation Continues

Despite discovering the money, of course the renovation had to continue. After all, it was their dream house in the works. He thought the surprise was already over. He was wrong. Finding the money wasn’t the end, it was just the beginning. As he continued renovating their home, more surprises came their way. Not just that, they also found something very alarming… alarming enough to get the FBI involved.

More Surprises

So the husband continued with the DIY renovation. Never did it enter his mind that the metal case wasn’t the only surprise hidden in their home.

As he returned to the grueling task of demolishing the basement’s old drop ceiling, he again encountered something. There was another metal case hiding in the rafters.

Now what could this second case have inside? More money? Is this second metal case the end of the mysteries hidden in their house?

Another Mystery Case -- Good News or Bad?

The husband waited for his wife to come before opening the second metal case. The second case looked almost exactly as the first -- both green and small.

Would it also contain the same thing as the first one? Or would it be something more valuable? But then again, maybe the excitement would just die in vain?

The Mystery Revealed...

As soon as his wife got home from work, they hurriedly opened the second metal case. They were somehow expecting it to have the same contents as the first. To their surprise, it didn’t have small bundles wrapped in wax paper as the first. It was actually something more exciting.

Rows and Rows of Bills

Nope, no bundles wrapped in wax paper. This second case had nothing but rows and rows of paper bills. Yes, it was clear that the second case had a great deal of money… and perhaps it was worth more than what was in the first case.

Talk about luck, right? How much was the cash in the second metal case worth? Are there more surprises in the house to discover?

Bigger Fortune

The second metal case was indeed more valuable than the first. It was worth $45,000. So similar to the first stash they found, they planned to use the money for their ongoing dream house project.

But did everything end there? Was there more in the house? What was it that lead to the FBI’s involvement?

The Secret Door

It obviously didn’t end with the second metal case. The couple had a hunch that there was something more in their home. They have noticed several things before but thought that they were nothing important. One of these things was a secret door.

That door looked like any other utility access panel. They thought that it only lead to the the water heating system of the house. However because they found those two metal cases, they became curious of what was behind that secret door.

Revealing What's Behind the Door

Opening door was a jaw dropping moment. The couple realized that they’ve been deceived… or perhaps their broker just made a mistake? All the while they thought they bought an ordinary house, but that clearly wasn’t the case.

The door didn’t lead to the water heater. It lead to something else, a secret room. But why was this room hidden?

More Than What Meets The Eye

A bit worried of what could be inside that secret room, the husband told his wife to stay back and he entered the dark room alone. As he explored the hidden room he discovered another door at the end of the room. This second door was shut tight with heavy locks.

Where did the door lead to? Why was it locked up that tight? What was inside?

Bringing Down the Second Door

The husband didn’t waste any time. He knew that he had to find out what was behind that door. He got a hammer and broke down the door.

What did he see behind the door? Was it more treasure? Or was it something he wished he didn’t see?


Right after opening the door, it suddenly hit him -- there was something off. While the treasures were fun and exciting, and a welcome windfall, what lurked behind this door was something suspicious

The room was anything but ordinary. Whoever made and used that room was up to something fishy.

A Room Behind the Room

The door led to another room which most likely had been hidden for decades. It wasn’t an ordinary rooms. The walls were soundproof and covered with white plastic tarpaulin material.

Why was this room soundproof? Why was it hidden? Was there more in the house than what was already found?

More Treasures Unfold

The first thing he saw in the room was an old brown leather briefcase. With what the other cases had in them, the couple had a gut feel that it would have more treasure.

But with the strange setup of this room, would treasure be found in the suitcase, or would it be something far more disturbing?

Someone's Prized Possessions

A mysterious safe

A dire warning

Another warning

An unsettling revelation

Giving in to curiosity

Recordings of disturbing past events

Turning the tapes over to the authorities

Sudden silence

An unexpected update

The investigation continues

Life goes on