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Treasure hunter finds stolen Hastings class ring and its owner

Treasure hunter finds stolen Hastings class ring and its owner. (Picture Courtesy: David Obey.)

A class ring that was stolen in the late 1980’s in the hands of its owner after it was found by chance.

Newschannel 3's Brittany Gray spoke with David Obey, an avid metal detector, who discovered the 1983 class ring on one of his expeditions looking for buried history.

Obey said, “I like old things, it’s what I like to find; old relics, silver coins, silver change, clad money we find as well. Of course, I keep that, but what I'm after are the older things, things that tell our history.”

Obey took up metal detecting as hobby about five years ago and he says this was the first time he has found something that he was able to return to its owner.

He said, “I went out about noon, detected for about four hours out there.”

Obey stopped by Leila Arboretum in Battle Creek to use his metal detector on Sunday and five minutes into his search his metal detector pinged.

Obey said, “Oh, it was loud, it blew my ears out. It was a loud high-pitched tone. I knew it was something good immediately, before I even touched the shovel to the soil.”

A 1983 class ring from Hastings High School was buried about six inches below the ground. A baseball player on one side, Class of '83 on the other and the name Christopher Holley engraved on the inside.

That's all the information Obey had.

Obey says he immediately sent pictures to his wife, hoping they could track down the owner.

He said, “I've never found anything that I've been able to return to anybody before. I found a number of rings, a number of things that people are probably really sorry that they lost, but nothing that identifies exactly who's it is and as soon as I saw that name, I thought, ‘Oh, I think we can find this guy.’”

Don't underestimate the power of social media. Pictures were posted to Facebook and within an hour the son of the owner was found.

Chris Holley now lives in California. He said someone broke into his Hickory Corners home in 1988 and stole a lock box which contained his ring.

He was stunned to learn that someone found it.

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