On Tuesday, Jul 21st, at 10:59 p.m. I got the following email from Stephanie, “Hi Jim, We have a family home on 6th street at Sunset Beach and on Sunday, on the beach at 6th street, a 4th generation Greek Orthodox Byzantine Cross on a gold chain was lost in the sand. It was my great grandmothers. Someone recommended that you might be able to help. If so, please let me know! Thank you so much! Stephanie.” I saw the email about 11:30 p.m. and immediately responded asking a few questions for more details, time of day, was she still in the area, etc. I gave her about 30 minutes and then sent her another email asking for her phone number and saying I’d call her the next morning between 9-9:30 a.m. This morning I had the following email from Stephanie, in part saying, “It was placed in the cup holder of the chair for safekeeping and then I forgot about it being there. When it was time to go, I closed the chair in the harder sand, just beyond the soft sand, and carried the chair on my back up past the trash cans, and then down the 6th street boardwalk. I realized when I was at my grandfather’s house that it was gone. I searched the gravel at his house, the boardwalk 3-4 times and the sand where I was sitting (before the tide came up). My cousins are still staying at our house on 6th street and could point out where we were. My parents, husband and I had to drive back home on Sunday for work on Monday. Since then, I called the police, and fire dept, Sunset reality, and put messages in some of the Face book groups.” She had also included her phone number, so I called her. While we were talking she mentioned that there had been a few people with detectors trying to help find the cross. I got her cousin’s name, Wilson, and his phone number. Low tide was at 3:32 p.m. so I had plenty of time. About 1:30 p.m. I gave Wilson a call and told him I was on my way.
I arrived on the beach about 2 p.m. and met Wilson and his wife, Corie, an extremely sweet couple. Wilson pointed out the area that Stephanie and the rest of the family had been sitting on Sunday. Stephanie had told me that they were sitting just off the dry sand, Wilson said they were out closer to the mid tide line. Not a big deal because I had planned to search at least down that far anyway. I started my grid search extending it both North/South and East/West. After searching for 3 hours, I had a couple of areas where sunbathers and a family were sitting that I still had to work around. The sunbathers finally packed up, so I was able to clear those areas. I only had one area to search, the one the family was occupying. This area would have been right in line with the path Stephanie would have taken to leave the beach. Otherwise, I was confident I had covered the area as completely and thoroughly as I possibly could. After waiting for a while longer, I finally went up to one of the family members and asked them about how much longer they planned on staying. They weren’t sure, so I told Corie that I’d be back a little later and headed home for dinner.
I went back about 7:30 p.m. and although there were still people on the beach, the area I needed to search was clear. I paced off the steps I had originally done before I left and started my grid search. As I turned the corner on my 5th line, and exactly where the family I had been waiting for were sitting, I hit a target that was giving me a solid 5 on the Equinox 800 VDI. GOLD! I carefully dug a hole so I wouldn’t take the chance of breaking the gold chain if this was indeed the cross and chain I was looking for. As I was removing the scoop from the hole, I saw the gold chain following the scoop. BOOM!!! I reached down and lightly pulled the chain and the cross came with it. I had left my phone at home, so I didn’t have the picture Stephanie sent but I was positive I had the right thing. Earlier Corie had told me she had seen the cross, so I drove to the house they were staying at. By now it was 8:30 p.m. so I was afraid I was disturbing them. I knocked on the door and Corie came to answer it. I held the cross up and asked is this Stephanie’s? She covered her mouth with both hands and stared. Then she said she wasn’t sure and face timed Stephanie. Corie turned the phone towards me as I was holding up the chain so Stephanie could see the cross and chain. Stephanie had no doubt and quickly confirmed it. It hit me that I was holding something that had been in the family close to, if not over, 100 years old. This crosses’ story can now continue for maybe another 4 generations or more.
Wilson and Corie – Thank you so much for all your help on this and the kindness you showed me.
Stephanie – Thank you for trusting me and The Ring Finders to help find your family’s lost treasure.