Two Casper College (search) students returned a purse to its owner, not knowing it contained $43,000.

Derek Hepner and Adam Simanton were driving along South Durbin Street on Monday when they saw the purse in the gutter. They turned around, got out of their car and walked up to it.

The two pulled out a wallet and found an Arizona driver's license, and without looking further into the handbag, took it to police.

What they didn't see was an envelope containing $43,000 in cash.

It turned out to be the life savings of the woman who owns the purse, police Sgt. Larry Baker said Friday.

According to police, she was traveling through Casper, stopped briefly and misplaced her purse.

The woman on Thursday phoned Hepner to inform him of a $200 reward for the two, who graduated from Kelly Walsh High in 2003.

The students said they never thought of rummaging through the purse or keeping it, although they took some ribbing from their friends.

Hepner is studying criminal justice and Simanton plans to be a lawyer.

Both said they had no qualms about returning the purse, and say they don't even know the name of the woman.

"I can't believe we had that much money in our possession and didn't even know it," Simanton said.