A vacationing woman and her 16-year-old daughter were about to take a final dip in the Atlantic Ocean on Sunday before heading home to Tennessee when they spotted a purse and other items that had been washed in by the tide.
They looked inside the purse and saw it was stuffed with cash. That's when they called police.
"We thought someone might have drowned or something," Darlene Curley told the Daytona Beach News-Journal on Monday from her home in Etowah, Tenn. "We called the police because we wanted to make sure the person (the owner of the purse) was all right."
The items were taken by Beach Safety Ocean Rescue officers, who took them to a lifeguard station to dry out. Once the officers realized just how much cash was inside - $13,087.88 - they locked the bay and left two officers to guard it, according to a police report.
The newspaper reports that the owner of the purse, Mary Self of Harwood, Md., eventually showed at the station.
In addition to the cash, there were several pieces of jewelry inside the $400 brown Coach bag, as well as a couple of credit cards.
Curley said Self called her.
"She thanked me and said she wanted to meet me in person," Curley said. "She asked for my address, but I don't know if I'll be getting a reward."