They were one of several pair created and worn in the movie by garland, who was born in Minnesota.
After the shoes were stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids in 2005, they disappeared completely until an individual offered the museum more information about the heist previous year.
The theft was a complete mystery: someone broke into the museum at 2 a.m., smashed the plexiglass case that housed the shoes, and fled without leaving fingerprints or other evidence behind.
Entertainment Weekly reports that the Minneapolis FBI, the North Dakota U.S. Attorney's Office, and the Grand Rapids Police Department will hold a press conference this afternoon to release more specific information on the recovery of the stolen shoes.
The slippers are valued at upwards of $3 million, and could fetch as much as $5 million at auction, but selling them would have been hard given the highly publicized theft. Investigators estimated that the heist took only seconds.
"We're not done. We have a lot of work to do", Christopher Myers, the USA attorney for North Dakota, said. The investigator assigned to the case was fearful that the thief might destroy the slippers if he believed the police were on his trail.
"We are still working to ensure that we have identified all parties involved in both the initial theft and the more recent extortion attempt for their return". Shaw rejected the museum's offer to store them in a vault each night because he didn't want people handling the delicate shoes by moving them daily, he said in the documentary. There are four pairs in existence. So Shaw delivered the slippers himself and placed them in the Plexiglas case.
"They have a festival up at the museum every year, right around Judy's birthday, and they made a decision to send a team of divers underwater to search for the shoes".
There's no place like home.
The theft of the slippers led to a million-dollar reward offered by a Wizard of Oz fan in Arizona, in addition to an an underwater search by the Itasca County Sheriff's Dive Team in 2015, according to KSTP. "These types of offenses not only deprive the owner of the property, but all of us", Myers said.