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Class ring returned to owner 46 years after being lost

WGRZ-TV Buffalo logo WGRZ-TV Buffalo 7/30/2021 Pete Gallivan
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It has been 46 years since a Buffalo man, now living in Colorado, has seen his Nichols School class ring. Thanks to a couple of people here in the City of Good Neighbors, the lost treasure is now on its way back to it's owner.

One of those people is Dan Milovich, a lieutenant with the Buffalo Fire Department. That is in his work life, out here Dan calls himself a metal detectorist.

He picked up the hobby after some health issues and his doctor advising him to get out and walk for exercise. He thought, why not put that walking time to another good use. "If you ever watch The Curse of Oak Island, that's where it starts. I'm going to find treasure" says Dan, but he also says it is more out of curiosity than a get-rich-quick scheme. "There's so much history in the ground. Just 6 or 8 inches below your feet you'll never know what's coming up so it's addicting."

And he has found some treasures. "A collar tab from the Union Army Civil War 74th Regiment that was mustered here in Western New York." Last week, he discovered a mystery, the case of the lost class ring. His detector beeped above the ring from Nichols School, class of '75. After cleaning it up, he noticed the owner's name engraved on the band. His first thought was, after 46 years, get the ring back to him. "I couldn't reach out to him for it and find him on Facebook, we tried social media, the school didn't have an updated address for him. So we were kind of stuck and I said well here's another ring for my collection."

That is where Therese Forton-Barnes comes into the picture. One of her businesses is a matchmaking service, which includes background checks. "I dug around for him and couldn't find much on him but I found his wife's phone number." So she put that skill to good use. "20 minutes later he called me back and was just enamored over this whole situation." The ring owner explained to Therese that he bought it and only had it for two to three weeks before he lost it, and never found it. "He is so so excited about having this bring back in a piece of his history." And for Dan, it is a thrill to be able to reconnect this heirloom with its owner. "Absolutely gratifying when Therese came up to me yesterday and said we found the owner, it made it all worthwhile. Made my day, absolutely made my day."

The ring owner, while elated to get the back, was reluctant to take part in our story.

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