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Mystery Lakewood High ring is 20-year lost and found case

A Lakewood High School ring was found in a crab’s claws in Maryland two decades ago.

Courtesy of Nancy Acquafresca

A Lakewood High School ring was found in a crab’s claws in Maryland two decades ago.

The crustacean found the mystery ring first.

That was 20 years ago.

Nancy Acquafresca was crabbing with her sons in Franklin Manor, Md., where they lived in 1994 before moving to Melbourne. When their net of creatures surfaced, one had a surprise wedged between its pincers.

"Look, Mom!" her son said.

They removed the treasure and inspected: It was silver, encrusted with a blue gem, and engraved with a knight or warrior. It belonged to a woman named Patti, initials PAF, Lakewood High School, Class of 1979.

"Somewhere out there," Acquafresca thought, "somebody might want their ring back."

Decades later, she is still searching.

Her Googling and phone calls to Lakewood High and the local library years ago make Acquafresca think Patti and the ring are from St. Petersburg. At the Times' request, a librarian recently searched the 1979 yearbook for a woman with the initials PAF but had no luck.

After 20 years of waiting, Acquafresca still has hope she'll find Patti.

"I just want to return this simple little ring and I can't do it," she said. "How hard can this be?"

Contact Katie Mettler at or (727) 893-8913. Follow @kemettler.

Mystery Lakewood High ring is 20-year lost and found case 09/04/14 [Last modified: Thursday, September 4, 2014 10:59am]
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