Kristie Wheeles was hanging out with some friends on Orange Beach, one night, when she found something. “I just kind of felt down in the sand and found it,” Wheeles said.
That was back in 2003; 10 years ago! But somehow, the ring managed to stay put despite several major storms along the gulf coast. It’s not been easy finding the owner either…even though Wheels knew his name.
“I contacted several people but could never find Jim Billings so we just held onto it thinking one day maybe we would find him,” Wheeles explained.
The ring was from Woodham High School, class of 1996, and property of Jim Billings. While social media didn’t exist then, Wheeles had at least one clue: Billings played soccer.
Wheeles says she broke out the white pages and called all the Billings listed. She tried the school next , but didn’t have any luck. Over the years Kristie moved several times. She says each time the ring went with her. Last week Sunday, she decided to hit Facebook in hopes of finally finding him.
“I posted on the reunion page for 1997. He actually graduated in 1996, but they didn’t have a reunion page there. So I posted it to the 1997 page that I found a class ring.”
And almost immediately people responded. Some people even sent her pictures of Billings so she would know what he looked like. Despite several leads, it wasn’t until she found his sister-in-law that the ball started to roll. Coincidentally enough they had a mutual Facebook friend.
“She couldn’t believe it she was like is really excited and of course he wants his ring back.”
And just like that the 10 year mystery was solved. “Jim ended up calling me and telling me that he lost the ring on his senior break trip 1996. He was out playing volleyball on the beach,” said Wheeles.
Kristie says, if it weren’t for social media, the ring would probably still be in her jewelry box. “I want a picture of him with the ring on.”
Wheeles mailed the ring back to Billings. Three days later, he sent her a picture with it on his finger.