NATCHITOCHES, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A Natchitoches Parish deputy made a family from Henderson very happy when he found their daughter’s lost suitcase abandoned along I-49 over the weekend and got it back to them.

Deputy Benji Phelps was patrolling I-49 near milepost 139 just north of Natchitoches Saturday when he noticed a large suitcase lying in the road.

The deputy was cautious before the suitcase was removed from the road and opened. When Phelps did open the suitcase he found clothes, cash, other essentials, and a medicine bottle prescribed by a pharmacy in Henderson and marked with the patient’s name.

Phelps contacted the pharmacy and spoke with a pharmacist who knew the family. The pharmacist agreed to call the family and inform them to contact Phelps.

When the father called, Phelps asked if he had lost a suitcase.

The father explained that they had “lost his daughter’s suitcase while they were traveling from Texas and were in the process of purchasing and replacing all of her lost items in south Louisiana.”

Replacing the lost items was a high priority because their daughter attended a week-long water skiing class in Zachary, La. The rest of the family went to Florida for vacation while she attended class.

Phelps told the father that he found the suitcase on I-49 in Natchitoches Parish and that everything seemed to be in order inside, and that he would be happy to return it to them.

The deputy kept his promise to the family and made arrangements to meet the family at the French Market Express off of I-49 to return the suitcase. Phelps returned the suitcase, and the family continued their return trip home.

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On Thursday, the NPSO shared the department’s appreciation for Phelps going above and beyond the call of duty.

“Thank you Deputy Phelps for a job well done. Thank you for caring, and taking the extra steps to return the suitcase to the Rains family of Henderson, Texas,” the NPSO post said. “The father said the suitcase apparently flew out of the bed of their pickup truck without them knowing it. Good luck Jolee, we wish you well.”

Deputy Phelps is assigned to the NPSO Warrants/Transportation Division.