The Cambrian

Duffel bag takes road trip, is returned safe and sound

From left, Jim Balint, Natasha and Dan Costello with baby Cai, volunteer Barbara Keir and Ranger Iain Beveridge.
From left, Jim Balint, Natasha and Dan Costello with baby Cai, volunteer Barbara Keir and Ranger Iain Beveridge.

Thanks to a good Samaritan and a stubborn Cambria volunteer, what was lost has been returned.

Natasha and Dan Costello, with baby Cai, were visiting the North Coast from Canada when they realized they’d lost their duffel bag. They alerted Hearst Castle, which they had visited, and filed a report.

Meanwhile, as Cambria resident Jim Balint drove along Highway 1, he noticed a large duffel bag on the road. He stopped to pick it up. When he saw that the bag contained passports and other valuable items, he took it to the Cambria Chamber of Commerce, where volunteer Barbara Keir began her dogged investigation to find the owners. Among her numerous calls was one to Hearst Castle, which she figured the family had visited.

The bag was reunited with its owners, whom Barbara Della Bitta, directors’ assistant for the chamber, defined as being “a very sweet couple.”

The Costellos checked the bag and were grateful to find that nothing was missing.

Natasha Costello’s first words after opening the duffel were, “Thank God, Cai’s favorite toy is here!”

As the chamber reported on its Facebook page, “It is a delightful day when people come together to help others.”

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