Imagine losing your beloved class ring in one place only to have it turn up in a different country.
Nearly 50 years after a woman lost her boyfriend’s class ring in a Maine department store, it was found buried six inches deep in a Finland forest.
The ring belonged to Debra McKenna’s boyfriend, Shawn. He gave it to her before he left Morse High School for college. McKenna lost the ring not long after he left when she removed it to wash her hands at a department store. This was in Portland, Maine in 1973.
“It wasn’t there when I went back and it was only minutes,” McKenna said in an interview with CNN. “And that was the last I saw of it.”
The couple ended up getting married in 1977 and were married for 40 years before Shawn passed away in 2017 after a six-year battle with cancer.
Marko Saarinen, a 38-year-old sheet metalworker, came across the ring he thought was a toy from a vending machine. Saarinen enjoys looking for historic items in a nearby forest in Kaarina, Finland, with his metal detector. His normal finds include old coins, musket balls and bottle caps.
The markings on the ring say “Morse High School Class of 1973” with the initials “S.M.” Using these clues, Saarinen posted a photo of the ring to the Morse High School Class of 1973 Facebook page and received a response.
One of the administrators of the class Facebook page, Kathleen Nadeau, told CNN that she knew it had to be a man’s ring and that no other males in the class had the same initials.
Saarinen then mailed the ring back to where it belonged, making McKenna very happy, though the mystery of how the ring crossed the Atlantic Ocean into Finland remains as such.