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Family claims retired fire department badge found with metal detector

Updated: Jan. 25, 2021 at 6:54 PM CST
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - An Evansville man is no longer looking for someone to claim a memento he found on the northwest side of town.

Tony Montgomery finds treasures through his favorite hobby - metal detecting

“I’ve got a museum upstairs of the things I’ve found over the last 30 years,” Montgomery said. “I’ve been all over the country.”

He normally finds things with no way of knowing who once owned them.

But Montgomery said for the first time, he found something worth returning - a gold-plated Evansville Fire Department badge, engraved with the name “C. Ayers” and dated with the year 1968.

“It’s an inheritance is what it is,” Montgomery said. “It’s something you’d want to pass down to your family. It’s not something for a stranger.”

Montgomery found the badge in the area of 5th Avenue off of Fulton Avenue.

He said it was three inches below the ground in between the street and the curb.

After our story aired, Montgomery reached out to 14 News to tell us he has found someone to claim it.

The badge belonged to a late Clarence Ayers of Evansville.

His son Steven Ayers saw our story and reached out to Montgomery to claim the badge.

When Evansville Fire initially couldn’t find anyone alive to claim the badge, they were going to keep it at the station as memorabilia.

Ayers told 14 News he’s thrilled to have the memento to remember his dad by.

Montgomery believes it may have been there for at least half a century.

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