Owner of class ring found in Doniphan, MO located after 31 years - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Owner of class ring found in Doniphan, MO located after 31 years

(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)
(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)
(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)
(KFVS) -

Technology is truly amazing.

Thanks to a loyal viewer and a little leg work, we're going to be returning a class ring to a woman who lost it several decades ago.

A man in Williamsville, Missouri (who doesn't want to be identified) sent a letter to KFVS with the ring enclosed.

In the letter, the man wrote that he found the ring "in the parking lot of the now defunct Rod and Gun Club in Doniphan in 1986." He went on to say that he'd misplaced the ring several times and wanted to make sure that it makes its way to its rightful owner.

The ring belongs to a member of the class of 1974 who attended Laurel High School. It has the initials D.S.T. inside.

Well, the ring and letter sat in a desk drawer for quite some time and made its way to me around 10 a.m. on July 31.

I love a good mystery, so in between my daily duties, I started doing a little research.

The man that found the ring wrote that the only piece of information he was able to confirm was that the ring was from Laurel High School in Laurel, Maryland. They are the Spartans and one side of the ring has the mascot on it.

So, I turned to Google to help me. I was able to track down a site that had scanned images of the Laurel High School Senior Class of 1974. Only one person had the initials D.S.T.: Deborah Sue Thomas.

Now I had a name to search! Unfortunately, Deborah Thomas is a relatively common name, so a Facebook search didn't give me any concrete results. I also was not sure if Ms. Thomas had gotten married and taken a new name. So, I just kept searching.

Eventually, I stumbled onto a website for the Laurel High School Class of 1977 that had a feedback form. The page said:

If you're an LHS '77 graduate, or you attended LHS as a member of the Class of '77, then obviously you're included. But members of the LHS faculty and staff during the 1974-1977 academic years, and members of the LHS classes of 1975, 1976, 1978, and 1979 who attended with the Class of 1977 during the 1974-1977 academic years and were pictured in the 1975, 1976, or 1977 yearbooks, are also welcome to register and see our members section.

I decided to fill out the feedback form with my somewhat odd request in hopes that it would make it to someone who knew or knew of Deborah Thomas, a member of the class of 1974. I sent that email around 11 a.m. on July 31.

Then, I turned back to Facebook which led me to a private group for members of the 'Laurel High School Class of 1966-1974 plus.' I asked to join the group in hopes that I could post a message in the group to let them know what I was doing and perhaps someone in the group could lead me to Deborah Thomas. I also messaged the group administrator and explained what I was doing. She messaged me back and said she would reach out to the group on my behalf.

With my fingers crossed, I got back to regular work (writing stories, keeping the website up-to-date, posting on social media, etc...).

To my surprise, I got an email from Deborah Sue Thomas at 6:45 p.m. on July 31! Someone sent the email I'd sent to the LHS Class of '77 forum on to Deborah. In the email, she wrote:

I attended Laurel High School in 1974. I didn't graduate that year because I did a very foolish thing and quit school in February of that year, however I did purchase a school ring and had my senior pictures done there also...

...I'm pretty sure that it had a blue stone and my initials DST on the inside of the ring, other than that I can't tell you much about it, it's been so long since I've seen it. Heck I didn't even have it that long before it was lost.

She went on to write that she did "wise up" over the summer and went back to school in September. She graduated from a nearby high school the following year. Deborah, who goes by Debbie, said that she lost her ring almost 40 years ago (shortly after she got it) and never imagined she would see it again. She's also not sure how it made it all the way to Missouri!

Back to that letter from the viewer that found the ring: he speculated in the letter that the ring was in a load of gravel that was poured in the parking lot of the Rod and Gun Club. Seems like a somewhat logical guess, but we'll probably never know exactly how it ended up in Doniphan, Missouri.

It traveled more than 900 miles. Assuming it was lost in 1974 and found in 1986, we don't know exactly what path it took during those first 12 years. It sat in Williamsville, MO for nearly 30 years, kept by a man who hoped to return it to its rightful owner.

Now, after a nine-hour search, that ring will be making its way from Cape Girardeau back to Maryland.

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