Virginia man Kevin Cobb was sweeping his grandmother’s yard with a metal detector last week when he found the dirt-caked ring of a United States Navy member.
Cobb immediately washed the soil from the ring and noticed the words “United States Navy” engraved on the inside alongside “LEY 73” and the number 432. The letters are likely the sailor’s initials, and the number 432 belongs to a recruiting company that graduated boot camp in 1973.
Cobb posted a picture of the ring on Facebook, hoping friends could provide more information.
“Help me out by sharing this post,” Cobb said. “The more people that see this the better chance of me finding the owner.”
Much to his surprise, the post was launched into national headlines with half-a-million people sharing the picture on social media.
Amateur sleuths have searched through public records and many have ended up speaking to Brian Walsh, a spokesperson for the Navy’s Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois.
“Oh, the ring,” Walsh said in a phone interview on Tuesday. “It did come from Great Lakes.”
Walsh admitted that despite the dozens of calls he’s received over the past few days, he can’t provide much more information about the ring’s mysterious origins. Walsh said that while he can confirm the wearer of the ring trained at Great Lakes, there are no records dating as far back as 1973, meaning the original owner probably can’t be identified.
Walsh suggested that those interested in the ring’s owner should call the Navy Personnel Command in Tennessee or the National Archives in Washington. Both facilities have already reported receiving calls.