Daventry man uncovers mystery suitcase full of lost treasures at bottom of canal

A Daventry man discovered a mystery suitcase full of lost treasures while he was magnet fishing in the canal near his home.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 4:07 pm
What would the suitcase contain?

Lee Roberts reeled in more than he bargained for while enjoying his hobby at Welton Canal.

He later discovered the case had been stolen in a burglary in Napton more than 10 years ago.

Lee told The Gusher: "Excitement kicked in when I realised I had something incredibly heavy.

Lee Roberts.

"When it came to surface I could tell it was a suitcase. Seconds later the hook gave way and it sank back down to the bottom. My heart was beating fast at this point at the thought of the secrets and stories which maybe contained within.

"After a few minutes I got it to the surface once more. Using two hooks, myself, mum Julie and auntie Claire pulled on the ropes and we managed to get it on to the canal path."

He said the suitcase was spewing canal water and silt from the tears and holes in the zips.

"We couldn't make much out at first as it was full of black sludgy silt," added Lee.

Lee traced the owner.

"As we rummaged around we pulled out a pair of binoculars. I filled a bucket with water and as my mum and aunt rummaged for items I was swilling them with water and getting them as clean as I could. Once we had emptied the suitcase we had a collection of items from inside including bricks, so we knew the suitcase wasn't in there by accident."

Lee managed to track the family through Facebook and returned the case to its original owner.

The suitcase was stolen more than 10 years ago during a burglary from the home of Audrey Budd, who lives in Napton.

Audrey, who is in her 80s, was thrilled to have the suitcase and her lost items returned.

Her daughter, Hilary, said: "The stuff was stolen in a burglary around 10 or 11 years ago, and the burglars seem to have dumped the stuff they didn’t want to keep in the canal. There are a few pieces of jewellery which used to belong to my mum’s sisters and their mother (my Nan) and some items which belonged to my dad, binoculars and a camera.

"They are all in a bit of a state having been at the bottom of the canal for so long, but hopefully they will clean up some more.

"It’s really good to have them back."