Florida man looking for owner of necklace containing mother's ashes

Shawn Rauch found the trinket recently while wading in the waters off Siesta Key

By Garrett Pelican - Digital executive producer
Courtesy of Shawn Rauch

A Florida man who recently stumbled upon a necklace containing someone’s mother’s ashes is reaching out on social media in the hopes of reuniting the prized trinket with its owner.

Shawn Rauch, 30, of Sarasota, was wading in neck-deep water off Siesta Key as the sun was setting Sunday evening when he made the unusual discovery, he told News4Jax on Tuesday.

"When I realized (what it was), I immediately jumped onto social media and made a post," Rauch said. "I’ve returned many items in the past because of the power of social media."

He posted on image of the keepsake on Facebook, saying: “I was neck deep in the water at Siesta Key last night and found someone’s mother’s ashes on a necklace. Share this and help me find the owner!”

It’s a good thing he did. Less than 24 hours after posting the discovery online, his post was shared almost 1,200 times -- and several commenters started doing some detective work of their own.

This isn’t the first time Rauch has launched a lost-and-found campaign on social media. 

He said he first took up a metal detector as a hobby about six years ago. Since then, he estimated he’s recovered about 20-30 items for their grateful owners, ranging from diamond engagement rings to a Rolex watch – heck, even someone’s misplaced car keys.

"It’s the best," he said of his hobby. "The reactions you get from people when you hand them something that they thought they’d never see again makes it worth all the hours and hours I spent digging up trash at the beach."

But he’s never been more motivated than now.

"Whenever I find anything that I feel must have been devastating to lose, I always make an effort to locate the owner," he said. "This is on the next level, though. I need all the help I can get on this one."

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