by: Shae Rozzi Updated:
Dr. Troy Zimbelman planned a vacation with some casino gambling in Costa Rica until he realized he lost an envelope containing $7,000 cash before his flight.
"It probably saved me money by losing that money," the podiatrist laughed as he spoke with Channel 2's Shae Rozzi over the phone Wednesday.
Zimbelman of Prattville, Alabama, said he got lost picking up friends for a "guys fishing trip" to Costa Rica and was running late getting everyone to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport for their flight.
"I realized I didn't have the money with me as I was going through security," he said. "I figured I either left it in my car or on the shuttle bus."
Zimbelman told Rozzi that he worried about the lost money during the first day of his trip then figured there wasn't much else he could do while he was out of the country.
He decided to enjoy some golf and fishing instead.
Lucky for him a cashier who works at the Park & Ride parking deck at the International Terminal found the envelope full of cash on the ground next to the curb where shuttle buses pick up passengers.
"I showed the money to the [shuttle] driver then I went right inside and turned it in right away," Pamela North Hollowaay told Rozzi on Tuesday.
"I could've kept the money but I didn't do that. I'm an honest citizen. I'm a taxpayer and I believe in doing the right thing," she said.
Zimbelman called the shuttle service and eventually Atlanta police to see if someone had discovered the money and turned it in.
He said that he gave officers specific details of what was written on the envelope, the specific amount of money, as well as the name of the bank where he had withdrawn the cash.
Zimbelman said he was very surprised to learn that someone turned in all of the money. He says he wants to thank North Hollowaay for her help.
"I'm actually going to send her and the officer a reward," Zimbelman said.
Atlanta police sent North Hollowaay a letter of thanks.
The letter reads in part, "If it were not for you turning the property into the Atlanta Police Department, the owner would have never been able to locate it! I am certain they are grateful as well."
North Hollowaay said turning in the money was the right thing to do.
"Hopefully if that ever happened to me, someone would turn my money back in too," she said.