Wallet lost in Salt River found decades later by Mesa dermatologist

A dermatologist in Mesa made a surprising find in the Salt River: a wallet lost nearly 30 years ago. What makes the story even more interesting is that the wallet was eventually reunited with its owner.

"Just so surprised," said Julia Hsia.

Hsia lost her wallet in 1995.

"We drove down a big hill of rocks to the river, and I just remember this weird feeling in my stomach as I watched people watching us drive straight down," Hsia recounted.

On that day, Hsia was with her cousin, Arnold, and Arnold's 6-year-old nephew, Matthew. At the time, Hsia was also with her boyfriend, Paul. She would go on to marry him.

"Everything happened really fast, and I see water starting to come through the doors, and before you know it, it was up to my chest," Hsia recounted.

Luckily, they all made it out of the river safely.

Nowadays, Hsia lives in the Chicago area, and the story began when she got a message from Dr. Jeremy Bingham, the dermatologist who made the rather surprising discovery.

"This wallet here was probably in about 15 feet of water," said Dr. Bingham.

In his off time, Dr. Bingham looks for lost items at the bottom of the Salt River.

"I was born here, and we used to go when we were kids," said Dr. Bingham. "My dad would take us, and we would tube it or just swim it or drive across it."

Dr. Bingham and Hsia connected after a social media search.

"It’s a little time capsule that’s just been buried under the sand, and it does make me think what else is buried under the sand," said Dr. Bingham.

That incident in 1995 happened during Hsia's first and only time in Arizona. She is looking forward to coming back, but will not be getting in the Salt River.

"[Dr. Bingham] has extended an invitation if I ever want to come here. He said ‘look me up. I’ll take you river-diving.’ I said ‘I don’t know about river diving.' I need to learn how to swim first, but I definitely would hike around the area."

As for the wallet, Hsia said she is in no rush to get it back.