State Fair lost and found list includes false teeth

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Have you misplaced something recently?

Maybe it's one of the hundreds of items turned in to lost and found at this year's Indiana State Fair.

After 17 days, hundreds of attractions and nearly a million people walking around the 250 acre fairgrounds, some things are bound to get left behind.

The fair may be over for this year, but not for Tessie Douglass. And she calls the items treasures.

"I'm still in fair mode and I just want to get all these treasures back to people," Douglass told Eyewitness News, in a room containing hundreds of recovered items.

"They belong to someone and they mean something to someone, so we call 'em treasures," she explained.

The list includes a variety of items.

"We have a wheelchair, a baby buggy, carriage, drivers licenses, credit cards, phones, shoes," Douglass said.

"We have a hairpiece," she said, showing us a bun of hair.

"A shirt, a jacket, purse, book bag and another purse," she continued.

"These are all keys," she said, showing us dozens of sets.

In 18 years of running the lost and found, Douglass said she thought she'd seen it all. Turns out she hadn't.

"These are someone's teeth," said Douglass, holding up a plastic bag with false teeth in it.

"I go through all the things that are pretty much traceable, like the cards and the wallets, drivers licenses, I try to trace who those belong to," said Douglass.

Visiting the fairgrounds administration building or calling the office works for everything else that can be claimed.

"If they can give me a description over the phone, I can kind of pull what they described out," said Douglass.

"With cell phones, I ask that they bring in a charger. If they bring in a charger and we power it up, most of the time they'll be able to tell if it's theirs," she said.

The fair doesn't hang onto the unclaimed items forever. After 30 days, most of what's not picked up by the owner goes to Goodwill.

"The glasses, they go to the Lions Club," said Douglass. The cell phones go to IMPD to give to victims of domestic violence.

"Since Sunday, I have returned 15 items, so that's pretty good," Douglass said.

She said finding who the items belong to is like solving a mystery.

"I want to see who this bun belongs to," she said, laughing. "Who's going to walk in the door and say,' I lost my wig.'"

Douglass said she wants to find the owner of those false teeth.

"I would be happy to give them back their teeth. I can't use 'em," she said.

If you think you lost something at the fair this year, you have until Tuesday, September 17th to claim it. You can visit the administration building or call their office at 927-7500.