The case of the missing ruby red slippers

“The Wizard of Oz” Ruby Red Slippers worn by Judy Garland in 1939 are displayed at a viewing at the Plaza Athenee on December 5, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

It’s been almost a decade since someone stole the ruby red slippers Judy Garland wore in Wizard of Oz from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids and a search of an iron pit in Itasca County has come up empty.

The Duluth News Tribune reports divers made four searches last week and came up mostly empty.

The exception is a duffel bag and tin can.

Actually, two somethings: a pair of containers, one a small duffel bag and the other a partially deteriorated tin can. It was apparent the can had been in the bag, Feeney said. “They had been down there a while.”

The dives were staged at the mine pit, Feeney said, because of longstanding rumors that the slippers — stolen in August, 2005 — had been sealed in Tupperware with a weight inside and tossed in the pit.

The thought that the can and the duffel bag might have contained something was enough reason to turn them over to the Grand Rapids Police Department, Feeney said. As of Monday, police were still examining the items, he said.

Police have offered $250,000 for information, but so far nobody has stepped forward.

A private investigator concluded a few years ago that the slippers never crossed state lines and were probably boosted by a couple of young people.

Part of the mystery, of course, is why a couple of kids would steal the slippers, then toss them in an iron pit.

The slippers were one of four pairs Garland wore in the movie. They were on loan from a private collector who settled with an insurance company several years ago.