Nick Miranda, 29, said he found the envelope containing the 1984 savings bonds Monday at his rented home in Buffalo and it bore the words, "From Mom, to Michael," The Buffalo News reported Thursday.
"I didn't know what to do," Miranda said. "I didn't know if I should throw them out or try to give them back to the people they belonged to."
He said he decided to do a Google search for the names on the bonds, Lucille Rinaldo and Michael Ortalano, and about 50 phone calls later was able to track down Thomas Ortalano, son of Lucille and brother of Michael.
Thomas Ortalano, 57, said his mother died last year at the age of 80 and his brother died of a heart attack in 2005.
"He's a very, very honorable young man," Ortalano said of Miranda. "I won't ever forget him. Not because of the monetary value, just for the honesty of it, just for doing the right thing. Anyone else could have torn them up and thrown them out."