‘A Needle in a Haystack': Vt. Farmer Finds Prosthetic Leg Lost by Skydiver

The leg fell off in the sky above Addison County

NBC Universal, Inc.

An unusual case of lost property in Vermont had a happy ending, thanks to social media and an eagle-eyed farmer.

"You've always got to keep an eye out," said Joe Marszalkowski, who found a prosthetic leg Sunday in his soybean field. "It was literally a needle in a haystack as far as trying to find it."

The field is in West Addison, not far from Vermont Skydiving Adventures, where thrill-seekers can get some really stunning views of the Champlain Valley.

Double amputee Chris Marckres went for a jump Saturday and said that after leaping from the plane, he lost one of his prosthetic legs.

"I think my adrenaline was so high and I was just so excited, I didn't realize I had lost it," Marckres told NECN and NBC10 Boston in a phone interview Monday.

Before you get too worried, Marckres was harnessed to an experienced instructor who made sure he could land safely.

The amputee said he really needed to find that leg for his mobility and because a replacement would be expensive. So he wrote on Facebook asking folks in the area to keep their eyes out.

Marszalkowski was among the many people who saw the post and helped search, finding the leg Sunday afternoon among his crops — intact.

The farmer showed his find to NECN and NBC10 Boston. He pointed out how it appeared to have only a few scratches on it.

"I was very grateful to have found it without running it over with a machine this fall during harvest," Marszalkowski said. "Or, God forbid, the combine sucked it up — it would've destroyed it."

"It was just such a positive experience," Marckres said of having so many people help search for the leg or share his Facebook post widely to spread the word. "I can't thank everybody enough, especially Joe. We kind of take for granted sometimes how many truly good people there still are in the world."

Marszalkowski and Marckres were working out a time Monday to meet up to return the leg, they said.

Even though Marckres was offering a reward, Marszalkowski said he doesn't want it, telling NECN and NBC10 Boston that knowing he helped out a fellow Vermonter is payment enough.

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