BELTON, Texas (NBC) — It started out as a simple task. Samantha Pimentel and her husband had just moved into an old home in Belton, Texas. The backyard shed was jammed packed with what looked like junk.
As they began cleaning out the wooden shed, they had no idea there was hidden treasure sitting inside. They also could have never predicted the week-long journey that would follow the simple chore.
“At first it was curiosity, and then hope that we were going to find somebody,” said Samantha.
Inside the shed they spotted a faded green Army tote that held about 50 handwritten letters. Postmarked between 1940 and 1942 the letters were written to and from Private First Class Otha E. Sims.
Stuck between the yellow envelopes, she found a newspaper clipping. It was Otha’s obituary. He had died from his wounds during a battle in Italy in 1943. Those letters were some of the last memories and thoughts written by the soldier.
“Somebody left these and I don’t think they meant to,” said Samantha as she flipped through the aged letters.
They had found the treasure, but the hunt was just beginning. “I wanted to make sure to get these to the right person,” she said.