BILLINGS – A Billings woman was able to return stolen property to multiple residents this week, including one item that had been stolen over two years ago.
Billings resident Courtney Kirkwood owns multiple rental properties. She said one of her tenants was trying to do a good thing by lending a room to a man and take him under her wing.
“She was amazing. Honestly, if she could save everyone or help everyone, she was that kind of person,” Kirkwood said.
The tenant, unfortunately, passed away, and when Kirkwood went to clean out the home, she said she found hundreds of stolen items in the bedroom where the man was staying.
“There were probably 40 plus laptops, 50 something cellphones, a bunch of engraved stuff. There was also a box of very high-in jewelry that had people’s names engraved on it,” Kirkwood said.
After contacting the Billings Police Department, they confirmed the items were indeed stolen. Kirkwood then posted pictures on Facebook, hoping to find some of the owners.
One of the photos she shared was of an iPad with the name Amelia B. written on a piece of tape on the back.
A woman contacted Kirkwood through Facebook and she learned the iPad belonged to Amelia Brooks. Amelia, 22, was reported missing in Billings in October of 2020. Police said her body was found about two months later in the Yellowstone River.
Kirkwood learned that the woman who reached out to her was Amelia’s mother. So they set a plan to meet to return her daughter’s property.
“She showed up and she was just bawling, and to give that back to them, we were both bawling at the end of it. It was pretty amazing… Just coming together as a community and letting other people know of situations like this that may be happening just so people know and it doesn’t happen to you,” Kirkwood said.
Kirkwood said she was able to return items to five families. The rest of the items were turned into to the police department.