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Musician has $13k flute returned to her nine years after she left it in a cab

Musician is reunited with $13,000 flute NINE YEARS after she left it in a cab – when the driver took it to a store to have it appraised and staff grew suspicious

  • The Boston Police Department shared in a Thursday press release that they returned the Woburn-based Brannen to Heidi Slyker on April 19 
  • Authorities were contacted on Feb. 19 by staff at the Virtuosity Musical Instruments store who told them that a person came into the store with the flute 
  • Police talked with the man who had the instrument on April 9, and he reportedly told them that he had purchased the flute from an unknown male
  • While he returned the instrument, authorities later determined that he was a taxi cab driver who had been driving a cab the day the instrument went missing. 
  • Slyker, who had been with the New England Philharmonic orchestra at the time, was riding in a minivan Metrocab at around 3.30am when she left the instrument
  • She had just left work at Howl At The Moon and was heading to her Beacon Hill apartment at the time

A woman who lost her $13,000 flute almost 10 years ago in an early morning taxi in 2012, has finally been reunited with the pricey musical instrument, according to Boston police. 

The Boston Police Department shared in a Thursday press release that they returned the Woburn-based Brannen to Heidi Slyker on April 19. 

Authorities were contacted on Feb. 19 by a person working at the Virtuosity Musical Instruments store who told them that a person came into the store with the flute to determine its value. 

After taking the man’s information and taking a picture of the instrument, the employee determined that the flute may have been the one reported missing in 2012, police shared in the release. 

The Boston Police Department shared in a Thursday press release that they returned the Woburn-based Brannen to Heidi Slyker on April 19

Authorities were contacted on Feb. 19 by a person working at the Virtuosity Musical Instruments store who told them that a person came into the store with the flute to determine its value

Authorities were contacted on Feb. 19 by a person working at the Virtuosity Musical Instruments store who told them that a person came into the store with the flute to determine its value

Police talked with the man who had the instrument on April 9, and he reportedly told them that he had purchased the flute from an unknown male. While he returned the instrument, authorities later determined that he was a taxi cab driver who had been driving a cab the day the instrument went missing.  

Slyker, who had been with the New England Philharmonic orchestra at the time, was riding in a minivan Metrocab at around 3.30am when she left the instrument behind. She had just left work at Howl At The Moon and was heading to her Beacon Hill apartment at the time, WBZ-TV reports.

Slyker said that she was ‘devastated’ to lose the pricey instrument because she had worked all through high school to save up money for the flute, working full-time. 

Slyker, who had been with the New England Philharmonic orchestra at the time, was riding in a minivan Metrocab at around 3.30am when she left the instrument behind. Pictured with the instrument before it was stolen

Slyker, who had been with the New England Philharmonic orchestra at the time, was riding in a minivan Metrocab at around 3.30am when she left the instrument behind. Pictured with the instrument before it was stolen

The musician was forced to give up her seat in the orchestra because she was forced to use a replacement, taking her five years to save up enough to buy her own flute. 

‘They were like “Flute 2 sounds terrible.” And I was like, I’m sorry,’ she told the New York Times. ‘I was able to finish the concert, but I never got asked back. It was terrible. I finally got into an orchestra and I just had to quit.’

She added: ‘It was pretty terrible. I felt like I lost a limb. That was like my whole life, playing that instrument.’

She had just left work at Howl At The Moon and was heading to her Beacon Hill apartment at the time

She had just left work at Howl At The Moon and was heading to her Beacon Hill apartment at the time

At the time she lost the flute, Slyker’s flute was worth $10,000. 

‘I couldn’t believe it. I got really excited,’ Slyker said about learning her flute had been rediscovered. ‘I had never thought I’d see it again.’  

Slyker has learned of how the instrument was found but just expressed relief that it wasn’t destroyed.   

‘I always wondered and it always bothered me so much,’ she said. ‘I just wanted to know, did it get melted down, did somebody sell it? Nope.’

Because the flute hasn’t been properly cared for, it will need to be overhauled at a cost of about $2,000 to get to its proper condition, Slyker shared.  

‘I’m really happy,’ Slyker said. ‘I thought it was just gone.’



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