SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Don and Joan Kaufmann were headed to Biloxi to enjoy a getaway when they made a pit stop at the welcome center in Jackson County Tuesday.
"Joan went into the restroom and came out and she said 'well where's my purse' and I said 'Joan you didn't bring it,' I said 'I saw you going in and you didn't have a purse,'" Don Kaufmann said laughing. "I had her talked into believing the purse was at home, safe, double locked in our condo, so we were fat, dumb and happy."
A few minutes later Barbara Hood made quite the discovery.
" I found someone else's expensive looking purse there, I opened it up to look at her ID and I found out that she lives about an hour away from me in Florida," Hood said, " it had a lot of cash money in there and also her credit cards and a military id."
Hood had no idea where the couple was going but she was determined to track them down. When she got to her hotel in Biloxi she opened the phone book and called the first hotel listed, the Beau Rivage.
"I called and asked for the room of the people whose name was on the card and they connected me with their room," Hood said, " I almost fell out of the chair, I couldn't believe it."
There was no answer so Hood had the couple paged.
"All of a sudden, over this fantastic pa system, this sound 'Donald Kaufmann there is a call,' I thought holy mackerel we have 12 kids between us so I thought something had happened," Donald Kaufmann said.
That same evening Hood met the Kaufmanns at the casino.
"They took me for coffee and I returned their purse," Hood said, "the lady gave me her beautiful bracelet as a token of appreciation. The lady said, 'now we are friends for life,' and the gentlemen said joking, 'too bad our life is almost over, we are old."
Turns out the couple had a lot in common with the good samaritan, they live only an hour apart in Florida and they are Air Force veterans.
"She said, 'I was on a mission from God' and I said 'thank God,'" Donald Kaufmann said.