MINT HILL, N.C. (WBTV) - On July 5, Amanda Beal posted on Facebook about an Independence High School class ring from 1997 that her daughter found in the sand at Holden Beach. She was hoping to find the owner and return it.
In order to make sure it was returned to the right person, she wasn't giving out the name inscribed on the ring. The owner would need to come forward and say the name for Amanda to know it was theirs.
Then came Amy Purser, a Mint Hill woman and graduate of Independence High School. Her friend from high school, named Allison, had tagged her in the post knowing Amy still lived in the area and might be able to help.
Even after Amanda's original post circulated with over 6,000 views, they still hadn't found the owner.
Not totally surprising, since they were looking for the owner of a class ring found buried in sand three hours away from that high school. They didn’t even know when it had been lost.
But, Amy didn't want to stop looking. She said in the back of her mind, she just knew the ring had to have a story.
Amy contacted Amanda. She asked Amanda for the first name on the ring. It was "Shawn." She also got the graduating class year of 1997.
Amy then obtained a list of people who graduated in 1997.
Amy called the first Shawn Monday night, but his ring wasn’t missing.
When she contacted the second Shawn on the list, a woman answered. Her name was Nancy.
When Amy introduced herself and explained the reason for the call, Nancy was floored.
Shawn was her son. He had died 20 years ago, at only 20 years old.
His father, Nancy’s husband John, had worn the ring every day since Shawn died, but a wave knocked it off his hand recently while swimming at Holden Beach. It had disappeared into the ocean.
They searched and searched to no avail. They assumed it was lost in the ocean floor, covered by sand, impossible to see.
Following their conversation, arrangements have been made for Amanda to return the ring to Nancy and John later this week.