THORNTON, Colo. -- Police detectives are now investigating the reported disappearance of a multiple sclerosis patient's life savings -- roughly $35K -- inadvertently left behind in a defective new freezer bought and exchanged through Costco.
Renee Reese's story went viral in September after Contact7 first reported on the situation. She hasn't sought anyone's charity or pity. She wants accountability and help in tracking down the money.
Thornton police said her initial police report, which she filed June 1, never ended up in the department's Detective Division as it should have. Contact7's inquiries this week expedited the matter.
The new developments come as Costco has failed to answer questions about its policies in seeking and conducting background checks on its subcontracted delivery drivers. Reese believes the workers at one of the companies are not being truthful in claiming they never encountered the bag of cash.
"What happens is [Costco pays] a subcontractor to come into your home, and they hire one, and then they hire one," she said. "If you have an appliance delivered, you don't know who's coming in your home and you don't know if anybody's checked them and you don't know if anybody is going to have accountability for that."
Reese hopes the added pressure from Thornton police will encourage someone to come forward about the missing money's whereabouts.
She said no one from Costco has returned any of her repeated calls in the last several months -- even after Contact7 first brought the matter to light.
"I haven't even had the people that handle the claims contact me," Reese said. "I've paid for a membership to Costco since 1992."
A Costco corporate communications person, who asked not to be named, sent the same statement to Contact7 this week as they did last month.
"We have assisted to the best of our abilities and this has been turned over to the authorities," the statement reads. The company has ignored all of Contact7's repeated follow-up questions such as identifying which "authorities" it contacted.
Reese suffers from primary progressive multiple sclerosis -- an aggressive form of the disease that is steadily destroying her neurological functions. She and her family said it played in a large part in her forgetting about the money, despite the criticism her story generated on social media across the country.
"I really wish people would at least research something before they develop an uneducated opinion," Reese said. "I would give anything to have my memory work and my mind work and able to do just basic daily functions, but I don't get that choice and I never will."