Wallet Missing for 20 Years Found at Grissom Library

Cynthia Hayslett attended a magic show with her kids at Grissom Library in Newport News in the mid-1990s. Her wallet vanished that day. Last week it was found- inside a wall!

Izabela Cieszynski, Director of Libraries and Information Services for the City of Newport News, called Hayslett on April 1, informing her that her wallet had been found while the library was undergoing renovations.

Grissom Library, located in the Denbigh area of Newport News, is updating staff and public restrooms and switching the meeting room with the staff work room, which involves tearing down walls.  The wallet was found between the drywall.

Cieszynski invited Hayslett to pick up her wallet at the Library Administrative Offices in City Center to. Cynthia and her husband, Barry are still Newport News residents, so they arrived just a few hours later to pick up the long-lost wallet. Hayslett recovered her driver’s license, which expired in 1999, credit cards, store membership cards and photos.

Hayslett never imagined she’d see the wallet again. When she received the phone call, she said she said she thought, “Oh gosh—it’s the Library. There must be a book fee. I must have a book at home that I never returned. I wonder if my son did something.”

Cieszynski says that there were some renovations happening at the library at the time the wallet went missing, and that it was probably picked up and after the cash removed, tossed in the wall. But they can never be sure.

“At the time it was lost, our daughter was in diapers and now she’s 24,” Barry said.  “I think about it all of the time—it was so surprising to me that it was found.” Cynthia added.