UPDATE: Otero says her realtor has found the owners of the Purple Heart. The recipient of the prestigious medal has already passed away, but his family will have the medal returned to them.
TACOMA, Wash. -- It's not every day you discover a Purple Heart. That's what happened to a Tacoma woman.
Vanessa Otero stumbled upon the purple heart while looking to buy her first home.
“He shows me this purple heart, and I said, 'Where did you get that from?' It was in the attic,” Otero said.
Last week, a home inspector found the purple heart inside the home at 6402 Homestead Ave. in Tacoma.
“He put it in my hand, and I said, 'Oh that's real, that's super real, pretty heavy,” Otero said.
Since then, Otero has been on a mission.
“It would be an honor to find out who this belongs to. It's not every day you meet someone with a purple heart, you would have to be injured or killed to get one of these in combat, so it's really important,” Otero said.
Otero is speaking from experience. She is a veteran who served in Iraq as a medic.
“What if it was me? What if I had lost this what if I wasn’t alive anymore and my family didn’t have anything else but this?" Otero said.
Otero did not end up buying this house because of budget reasons, and she says the current owners of the home don’t know who it belongs to. But Otero says she won’t give up.
“I want to know your story I want to know who you are, how you got this,” Otero said.