(BOSTON) — It might end up being the most costly trip Mu-Chen Hsieh ever takes. The violin student, who is studying at the New England Conservatory in Boston, left her most prized possession, an 1835 Italian-made violin worth $172,000, in the overhead compartment of a Megabus after her trip from Boston to Philadelphia on Tuesday night.
“It was a long ride, and I was really tired, and that’s why I forgot it. And then I realized it about 30 minutes afterwards,” the 19-year-old told ABC News Philadelphia affiliate WPVI-TV.
The violin on loan from the Chi Mei culture foundation of Taiwan was already back on the road by the time Hsieh figured out what had happened. Police were eventually able to track down the bus Hsieh was on, but did not find the violin.
“[The foundation is] concerned that someone may have possession of [the violin] and may not know what they have,” Lt. John Walker told WPVI-TV.
Hsieh was traveling to Philadelphia to spend the holidays with her host family; now all she wants for Christmas is to have her violin returned.
“I really hope that the person that took it can give it back to me so that I can continue my studies,” Hsieh said.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio
Wayne Drash and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN
Chris Isidore, CNN
Angela Dewan, CNN
AJ Willingham, CNN