Suleima Campos was cleaning up at La Cascada in Southold after a busy summer night when she noticed a ring on a table.
The ring had a blue stone with the zodiac sign Sagittarius. “Daniel” and “1999” were imprinted on each side along with the Southold Clipper ship and Settlers logo.
It was a class ring from Southold High School where Suleima is a senior. She thought someone would eventually come back to the Spanish restaurant where she works and pick it up.
Several months later, the ring remained unclaimed.
On Wednesday, La Cascada owner Jorge Torrento decided to take a picture of the class ring and share it with The Suffolk Times in hopes of locating its owner. He kept the graduation year a secret to help ensure he could match the ring with its rightful owner.
When the newspaper posted the image Wednesday night on its Facebook page, Southold resident Jai Jacobs was one of more than 400 people to share it.
Unbeknownst to Mr. Jacobs, a classmate of his from Southold High School has been without the ring for 15 years.
When Dan Olsen logged into Facebook Thursday morning, he noticed the picture Mr. Jacobs and his other high school friend Daria Okrasinski posted.
“I was absolutely shocked because as soon as I saw it I thought ‘This looks a lot like my ring,’” Mr. Olsen recalled in a telephone interview Thursday. “I really never thought I would see it again.”
About 15 years ago, he had a birthday party for his toddler son and invited about 35 people over to his house in Flanders. When Mr. Olsen went to wash dishes, he took off his wedding ring and placed it in his bedroom. After he was done cleaning, he found that not only was his wedding ring missing, but also his class ring and his grandfather’s watch.
“To this day I still don’t know who it was,” he said. “I’m just happy to get the ring back at this point. It was 15 years ago and whoever stole it, for whatever reason, must have needed it more than me at the time.”
Mr. Olsen said he didn’t file a police report at the time because he didn’t want anyone to get in trouble and was hoping someone would return it, especially his grandfather’s watch.
“He passed before I was born and it was all I had of his,” Mr. Olsen said.
On Thursday afternoon, Mr. Jacobs volunteered to pick up the ring at the restaurant and mail it to Mr. Olsen, who now lives in Virginia.
When Mr. Jacobs met Suleima and Mr. Torrento, he thanked them for their kindness and offered Suleima a cash reward on Mr. Olsen’s behalf, which Suleima respectfully declined.
“I’m just very happy for him,” she said.
Mr. Olsen said he found it odd that the ring was found in a restaurant located across from the former Front Row Video store where he used to work.
Also, the timing couldn’t be more perfect.
“My oldest son is a sophomore this year in high school and they were just asking for school rings for them,” he said. “Now I can show him mine.”