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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Lost, but Found

Sunday, August 15, 2010

After seven years, Carrie Ann Holycross was able to return Vernon DeWayne Moss' stolen class ring at a meeting at the Brazil Public Library Aug. 7. Holycross discovered it in a Farmersburg storm drain in 2005. [Order this photo]
* Former resident's class ring discovered

FARMERSBURG -- After seven years, a series of extraordinary events and the help of several people, a former Brazil High School graduate got his stolen class ring back.

In 2003, Vernon DeWayne Moss' 1974 BHS class ring was stolen from his Farmersburg home during a break in.

Only slightly damaged, Vernon DeWayne Moss' stolen 1974 Brazil High School class ring was discovered in a storm drain across town from his Farmersburg residence in 2005.
"My wife had died the year before and who ever broke into our home took her jewelry and my class ring," Moss said. "My mother was heartbroken, so was my sister. We all were. I really never thought I'd see any of that jewelry again."

In 2005, Carrie Ann Holycross was a member of a work crew clearing the debris of a collapsed sidewalk out of a storm drain in Farmersburg.

"I looked down and there it was," Holycross said. "I don't really know how it got there. There wasn't any way for someone to throw it down there or anything."

Holycross said the ring was in almost perfect condition, with only the band disfigured and dented. The only means of identification were the initials D and M engraved on the sides of a square ruby stone with white lines and a crest with the capital letter B.

"I figured the owner would want it back," Holycross said about putting it in her pocket for safe keeping. "I was surprised it wasn't washed away in the storm drain."

Holycross took the ring home and placed it in her China cabinet until she could find enough time for her to search for the ring's owner.

"I'd stare at it while eating dinner," she said, laughing. "It just kept sitting there, reminding me that I needed to look for the owner."

After several months of casually asking co-workers, friends and fellow church members how they would go about locating the owner, Holycross contacted the Brazil Public Library July 21.

"A person I worked with thought the colors belonged to BHS," she said. "Their mother graduated from there, so I started looking for yearbooks."

However, the 1974 edition wasn't available at the local library. But BPL business Manager Darlene Shepard had an idea.

"My cousin graduated from there in 74, so I called her, but she was out of town," Shepard said. "Then I started e-mailing friends. When we came up with a name, we started looking in phone books."

Acting as a go-between, Shepard contacted Holycross two days later with the good news and sent Moss an e-mail on ClassMates.com about the discovery of the ring. She also contacted a few of his family members living in the area to make sure he'd get the message.

"It was so exciting," Shepard said. "It all happened so fast."

Although Moss was able to contact Shepard the next day, it took a couple of weeks before a meeting could be arranged at the local library to return the ring to its owner on Aug. 7.

"It's truly amazing they even found me," Moss said. "You just wouldn't believe how much this means to me, to my mother."

Moss, filled with emotion, explained how he lost most of his possessions in a house fire years ago.

"I had a letter jacket, my diploma and my memories. It was all that I thought was left," he said. "Now I have my ring back. I honestly thought, after all this time, that it was melted down and gone forever. But it looks pretty good for being in a ditch for so long."

After receiving a big hug from Moss, Holycross said, "I'm glad (the ring) found you."

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That's really nice. Good people still doing good things.

-- Posted by brazilian on Mon, Aug 16, 2010, at 8:48 AM

what year exactly is this class ring from? It says in the article "1974 BHS class ring" but under the photograph, it says "1972". Which is it? Glad that he was reunited with it!

-- Posted by millertime on Mon, Aug 16, 2010, at 9:38 AM

It was the class of 1974, look closely at the sides of the ring, it has the year on it . the 19 is on the left side and the 74 is on the right

-- Posted by sierrabloom on Mon, Aug 16, 2010, at 10:04 AM

Incredible news! Five years gone and this ring found its way back to the original owner!

I don't believe in coincidence .. this man had lost his wife, his possessions .. nearly everything. This ring came back when he needed it most!

What are the odds? Congrats to Moss and thanks to the BPL and Ms. Holycross!

-- Posted by Emmes on Mon, Aug 16, 2010, at 11:21 AM

That's an awesome act of kindness. He is a very lucky man.

-- Posted by jessdixon on Mon, Aug 16, 2010, at 3:10 PM

That's my sister! Way to go!

-- Posted by firefighter301 on Mon, Aug 16, 2010, at 6:34 PM

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