The last place you want to find a missing envelope full of money is in your shredder.
But that’s where Ben and Jackee Belnap of Salt Lake City, Utah, discovered their $1,060 (£810), which they needed to pay for University of Utah American football season tickets.
Searching for the missing money, they were horrified to find it torn to pieces – courtesy of their son, Leo.
Their two-year-old son helps shred junk mail, and was trying to be helpful.
“Leo helps me shred junk mail and just things with our name on it, or important documents we want to get rid of,” Jackee told news station KSL TV.
She and Ben had been saving up the money to repay his parents for the football tickets.
Jackee told USA Today the money was “locked in a file cabinet until it was time to pay [Ben’s] parents”.
The couple then placed it on a counter to remind themselves to deliver it – only for the envelope to disappear.
After a house-wide search, Jackee found the remains in the shredder.
But the couple are in luck. The US Treasury department’s Mutilated Currency Division promises “a redemption at full value” for destroyed currency, provided they send it to them and their “trained experts” can piece it back together.
Ben called the department and was told: “Bag it up in little Ziploc bags, mail it to DC, and in one to two years, you’ll get your money back.”
The US Treasury says it handles about 30,000 claims and redeems mutilated currency worth about $30m every year.