YUBA CITY (CBS13) – It’s the story of a Disney disappearance with the hero and villain playing out in real life.

The priceless Mickey Mouse poster that was stolen out of a family’s attic resurfaced online.

Collectible movie posters are displayed all over the walls of Tracy Leighton’s home, while one was tucked away in the attic.

“He had the poster flat in there, had a false top and a tapestry over the top of it,” said Leighton of the poster’s hiding place.

The one of a kind 1928 poster was purchased for $20,000.

“This is the only known one of these,” said Leighton.

It’s the first 1928 character appearance of Mickey Mouse on a poster.

“It was called a personality poster,” said Leighton.

When Leighton’s father Crowell Beech passed away, she went to find the priceless piece, but it was gone. They scoured the house, but no luck.

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked,” said Leighton. “We just could never find Mickey Mouse.”

Months later, she received a phone call from an auction friend that would answer the burning question of Mickey’s whereabouts.

“He said ,‘Tracy did you sell your Mickey Mouse poster?’ And, I said ‘no, we’ve been looking,’ ” said Leighton.

The friend found it online, and for sale.

Leighton then started putting the pieces of the puzzle together. She says a handyman fixing a leaky roof must have ripped it off.

“There were a lot of other movie posters, but none, probably, hidden this is unique,” said Leighton.

The handyman then sold it to a collector in New York.

“We had a canceled check with the guy’s signature as evidence,” said Leighton.

As soon as the collector realized it was stolen, it was immediately returned.

“It was a happy ending, and Mickey Mouse always has a happy ending,” said Leighton.

The thief pled guilty to grand theft.

Leighton’s family sold the poster recently at auction for $100,000.


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