We have an exciting update to the mystery we brought you a couple weeks ago, when the team at Colossal Cave found a long lost wallet, only to learn the owner had died.

They set out to find her family, and we’re thrilled to share, we’ve managed to make that happen.

“I would just want them to know that one way or another, whether through thoughts or emotions or something physical like a wallet, their family member has lived on, and in multiple ways,” Dalton Carper said earlier in January. He’s the cave lead at Colossal Cave, who found the wallet belonging to Mancie Susan Love, deep inside.

He and his coworker Laure Sylvia searched her name, but without any relatives even listed in her obituary, we had to bring out the big guns.

One of our web gurus here at KGUN 9, Gerald Gay, did a deep dive online. He managed to find some possible relatives, and a bunch of phone numbers.

Claire Graham started calling them, and after several hitting disconnected lines, eventually Earl Love, Mancie’s brother-in-law in Rhode Island finally answered.

He handed over the names of Mancie’s kids, so Claire got to work tracking down their numbers, and ultimately connected with two of them. Her son and daughter, Larry Ward and Debbie Ross still live in Tucson, so they met us for a little reunion back at Colossal Cave, 10 years after their mom had been there.

As we returned the wallet, right away her kids set the record straight, that their mom didn’t live by what was on her ID.

“We all called her the High Mama Lama,” Debbie Ross explained. “For 25 years she called herself the High Mama Lama, at least that’s what she was to all five of us. But the last 20 years of her life, she was called Lovie. So her friends all knew her as Lovie.”

The family remembers their mom as an adventurer, who climbed Machu Picchu twice, and the Great Wall of China. She also quite literally marched to the beat of her own drum.

“Her memorial ended up being with these friends we didn’t know she had. It was a drumming circle out at Saguaro National Monument East,” Debbie remembered. “She wasn’t your normal mom, but is there a normal mom anymore though? We liked ours. She was unusual.”

The day she lost her wallet, “Lovie” had been with her grandson, David Tidwell. He lives in Texas now, so Claire caught up with him, Laure and Dalton on Zoom.

“I saw her drop it, and I was like, ‘we are never getting this thing back!'” David explained, looking back on the day the wallet got lost. “We went on this tour, and there’s this part where you’re supposed to straddle this hole, and I saw it fall out of her pocket, and I was like ‘oh I should reach for it!’ but then I was like, ‘I’m straddling this hole, I don’t wanna fall in!’ I just watched it fall, and I see it disappear into the darkness. I was like, ‘we are never getting that thing back.'”

But now that the wallet is back in her family’s hands, it’s become a window into memories of Lovie.

Inside it, were stamps from a woman who wrote letters, and the fortune from a cookie, saying “new and rewarding opportunities will soon develop for you,” as a mantra to live by.

“Knowing Mom it’s not a bit surprising,” Ross said with a smile. “She’s probably laughing somewhere.”