Buried Treasure Discovered in Packrat's Home
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BOISE, ID This year, Mike and Rita Richardson decided to give their home an extensive fall cleaning. Normally, a little cleaning wouldn’t be considered a newsworthy event. It should be noted here, however, that cleaning at the Richardson home is no small task. You see, Rita has been clinically diagnosed as a packrat. Ever since she was a small child, Rita has saved everything. Over the years, Rita’s collection has grown from a drawer in her room to stacks and boxes of books and souvenirs and papers and stuffed animals and trinkets.

But recently Rita decided to clean out some of her collection—besides, she was running out of room for storing more stuff. The Richardsons could no longer keep cars in their two-stall garage, and they’d given up the use of their den. Rita was thinking that it might be time to rent another storage unit at the Stor ‘N’ Lok in town. But she decided to clean instead.

So the Richardsons—Mike, Rita, and their five-year-old son, Rob—planned to spend the entire weekend cleaning their home.

Around noon on Saturday, however, Mike made a surprising discovery. He had been digging through the den when he heard a strange sound. As he continued to dig, the sound got louder. Finally, he uncovered the source of the sound. It was a small child—a girl, about four years old.

Surprised, yet not completely shocked, Mike ran to get his wife. “Rita! I found Julie!” he called.

Julie, the Richardsons’ youngest child, was declared lost approximately ten months ago—after she had been missing for a month. Apparently, she had been surviving on the stockpiled crackers and juice that had been buried next to her.

“This must have happened after that big clearance sale at the bargain wholesale warehouse,” Rita guessed. “Come to think of it, that is about the time that we lost Julie. And to think that we assumed that she’d just run away…”

The Richardsons are excited to have been reunited with their long-lost daughter. Rita promises, after having cleaned out the den, that she will be more careful when piling her new junk.

After finding Julie, Mike continued to dig, hoping to find his long-lost golden retriever, Goldie—the dog that Rita claims died three years ago. His search has been unsuccessful so far, but he says he’ll keep looking.

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