Tourist Who Found a Ring on a Florida Beach Uses Social Media to Return It to the Marine Who Lost It
"I knew that I would eventually find him, I didn't think it would be when I was still on vacation."
It's not that uncommon for beachgoers to come across lost items in the sand. But going above and beyond to reunite an item with their owner, is.
Well, above and beyond is exactly where Suzanne Rogers went after she found a ring issued by the Marine Corps in the sand during a recent vacation in Siesta Key, Florida.
"I was throwing a football with my best friend who was on vacation with us," Rogers recalled to CBS News. "I looked down and saw something shiny. I thought it was a bottle cap, but realized it was a ring." Rogers said she was able to identify it as a Marine Corps ring, but that's all she knew.
Determined to find its rightful owner, she and her husband went to work figuring out the meaning behind the letters and numbers inscribed on it. After learning that "PLT 1041, 6-30-17" meant Platoon 1041 from Parris Island, graduation date June 30, 2017, Rogers told CBS she felt confident she could find its owner.
From there, Rogers turned to Facebook. On Sunday night she shared photos of the ring and a heartfelt message urging her friends to "please share." By Monday she'd received a shocking number of responses.
She told CBS that one reply in particular stood out, from a man named Jaime Andrade, who claimed the ring was his. "He's not on Facebook, so he didn't see me post it," Rogers explained. "He just happened to casually mention to a coworker that he lost a ring and a rosary on the beach. The friend saw my post in the newspaper and told him about it."
Rogers did some serious detective work to corroborate his story, but in the end, she was convinced: she'd found the ring's owner.
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Rogers and her husband arranged to meet up with Andrade at Siesta Key Village. She described the Marine as a "super sweet guy, super young—only 22 years old—very shy." He also cleared up some questions, like how he lost the ring in the first place. "He went swimming one night and left the ring on the sand with his shoes ... I guess it fell out," Rogers said.
But the story doesn't end there. Rogers and her husband even spent time with Andrade after returning the ring. "I bought him a beer and we played a game of pool," she told CBS. Andrade, who is in the reserves, lives nearby. Rogers said he was very grateful to have his ring back.
Rogers is grateful too—both for social media and the opportunity to meet Andrade in person. "I knew that it was important to somebody and I know the power of social media ... I knew that I would eventually find him, I didn't think it would be when I was still on vacation," she said.