World War II hero’s medal to be returned thanks to Jackson County Sheriff’s Office deputies

White City, Ore.- A stolen car case in White City leads to the discovery of a World War II medal that didn’t belong to the suspect. But thanks to some investigative work by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, the medal they found will soon be back in the hands of its rightful owner.

“As soon as these deputies located the Bronze Stae they knew they had something special,” JCSO Captain Tim Snaith says.

The box was worn, but the Bronze Star Medal inside was in perfect condition. Engraved on the back was the name Leonard C. Durant. Since it didn’t belong to the person they had in custody Jackson County Sheriff’s deputies launched another investigation.

“We did some research and located the family down in California,” Capt. Snaith says.

Durant has since passed, but his daughter and wife rosalie still live in Citrus Heights, CA. How it got here is still a mystery.

“Sounds like 35 years ago the family may have had some things cleaned out of their garage and the Bronze Star was mistakenly taken out of the garage and 35 years later it shows up in a stolen car in White City.”

It was likely of little value to the individual who had it, but to the Durant family it’s a priceless possession. As for police, this case, is one they’re happy to have closed.

“They went above and beyond to return it to the rightful owner,” Captain Snaith says, “and it’s one of those things that we occasionally get to do and it’s kind of a feel-good moment where we can return something like to a family.”

Deputies aren’t sure how it got to Jackson County, but NBC5 News has learned one of Durant’s daughters- who has since passed away- lived and worked at a school here in Medford.

Captain Snaith says they plan to get the Bronze Star Medal back to the family by next week.


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