June 24 (UPI) — A Georgia woman who lost her class ring on a Florida beach in 2002 has the ring back on her finger after a man with a metal detector found it 18 years later.
John Porcella said he often uses his metal detector to comb the beach near the pier at Jacksonville Beach, and on a recent search in the sand he uncovered a 2001 class ring from Collins High School in Suwanee, Ga.
Porcella contacted the school, which identified the ring as belonging to a graduate named Amy Goetz, but the phone number the school had on file was disconnected and an e-mail to her listed address came back as undeliverable.
The metal detector hobbyist said he tried finding Goetz on social media, but despite contacting multiple women sharing her name, he was unable to turn up any leads.
Porcella enlisted the help of the Gwinnett County Police Department, which was able to contact Goetz and tell her the story of her ring being found.
Goetz said she received the ring in the mail this week and was pleased to find it still fits on her finger. She said she had been unclear on when she lost her ring, but its discovery revealed she must have dropped it during a trip to Jacksonville Beach in 2002.
Porcella said he was shocked to learn how long the ring had been missing.
“I think it’s amazing,” Porcella told the Gwinnett Daily Post. “It got washed out into the ocean and then the ocean kicked it back up on the beach. I just happened to be right there at the right moment at the right time. I worked that area of the beach many, many times and never found it, and then all of a sudden I did. It’s interesting.”