JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. – Christmas came early for the owner of a tiny house that was stolen in south St. Louis over the weekend.
“I’m still in complete shock,” says Meghan Panu.
Panu laid eyes on her tiny house for the first time in five days. It was 40 miles from where it was stolen in Tower Grove.
“I’m just shocked it’s in Hillsboro, Missouri. That’s a lot better than California,” she said.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office located the home early Wednesday morning thanks to an anonymous tip and lots of attention on social media.
“It was transported to a wooded area in House Springs but it didn’t look like a final resting place. It wasn’t set up yet. I think we caught it before it was transported someplace else,” said Captain Gary Higginbotham, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
Panu built the tiny house as part of her senior project for Environmental Studies at Webster University.
“I think the biggest take away from all of this is don’t steal because you could be stealing someone’s dream,” she said.
Panu handled a lot of the labor herself with help from some friends. It cost her about $20,000 in materials.
“It makes us happy inside. It’s Christmas time. She gets her home back and we are lucky enough to find it,” Higginbotham said.
Because of the weight, the tiny house needs to be pulled by a diesel engine. Ives Towing volunteered to take the tiny house back to Tower Grove for her free of charge.
“It’s so surreal in so many ways in that people cared and wanted to help me. It’s amazing. Christmas miracle? You know I think that sounds about right,” she said.