Tyler Schaefer found the neatly stacked bills Saturday in the room where he and his father, Cody Schaefer, were staying at a hotel near the airport, The Kansas City Star reported. Cody Schaefer, a truck driver and mechanic from Rapid City, S.D., meets his former wife in Kansas City every year to get his three children for summer vacation.
Cody Schaefer said Tyler, a Cub Scout, is always on the lookout for clues and treasure.
"He looks for stuff at random," Schaefer said of his son. "He's very observant."
Schaefer said after they checked into their room Saturday, Tyler began opening all the drawers, and it wasn't too long before Tyler announced: "I found money!"
Schaefer thought maybe his son had found a forgotten $10 bill, but when he looked closer he saw the stack of bills totaling $10,000. He wondered if the bills were fake, but saw they had the appropriate watermarks and seemed legitimate.
"We didn't know what to do at first," Schaefer said.
Schaefer told his son they couldn't keep the cash because they didn't know who it belonged to. They handed the money over to two off-duty police officers working security at the hotel. The officers contacted Sgt. Randy Francis, a property and evidence supervisor, who stored the cash at a police facility.
Police said it's unclear how long the money had been there, and they can't track down every guest who stayed in that room recently. Police spokesman Capt. Tye Grant said Thursday no one had claimed the money yet.
According to a Missouri statute, lost money could revert to a finder after about seven months if no one can prove ownership. But the owner then has another year to prove the money is his or hers and claim it from the finder.
"I didn't come there with $10,000 and I didn't leave with $10,000," Cody Schaefer said. "So it was a wash."