Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said the money, which was seized in 2009 from a home where a domestic dispute was reported and officers found the cash along with crack cocaine and marijuana, had been kept in a lock box accessible to only a few people within the department, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Thursday.
However, Chitwood said a court ruled the search illegal and ordered the money returned, leading officers to discover the cash was not in the box.
"Everything was in the evidence box but the $8,000," he said. "We have searched the entire evidence room twice."
Chitwood said an evidence technician told investigators he recalled being called away for an emergency while counting the money and the envelope of cash may not have ended up in the right lock box. Chitwood said the envelope may have been burned, as the department frequently incinerates unnecessary evidence.
The city wrote an $8,000 check to replace the cash, Chitwood said.