WOODBURY, N.J. (WPVI) --A class ring missing for more than 70 years found its way home Thursday night to the family of Army Sgt. Edward Dodds, who lost it while serving in World War II.
"It's unbelievable. It's a miracle. It really is," said Tillie Canning, Dodds' sister-in-law.
A poor farmer named Liam considered it a prized possession after finding it in his garden in Papua New Guinea.
He showed it to John Hucknall, a visiting Australian lecturer whose niece lives in Woodbury, New Jersey.
"He wasn't sure what it was, and he asked my uncle if he could take a look and see if he recognized it," said Susan Basich of Woodbury.
Hucknall contacted Audubon High School officials last summer, who used the graduation year and initials to determine its was Dodds'.
"We went through the local telephone directory to see who had names ending in Dodds in the area," said Mike Bruzzese, Audubon Alumni Association.
Dodds' son Richard got the call.
He says his father joked about the ring because the middle initial was wrong.
"We kind of vaguely remember him saying the hell with it. It had wrong initials anyway. He certainly didn't dwell on the loss," said Richard Dodds, Dodd's son.
The ceremony honored Dodds' service and celebrated those who helped bring this family treasure home.
"Nobody knows how it ended up in the dirt in Liam's farm, but got it back to the owner now," said Basich.
As a way to thank the farmer who found the ring, the Audubon High School Alumni Association is raising money. They hope to get enough donations to help pay for Liam's children to attend school.