Updated: Friday, 11 Jan 2013, 10:52 PM EST
Published : Friday, 11 Jan 2013, 10:51 PM EST
SEYMOUR, Conn. (WTNH) -- A ring that had been missing for more than 30 years is finally back on the hand of its owner in Seymour tonight.
The journey started back in 1982 when the ring slipped off a teenager's finger on the jersey shore. Tonight that ring is finally back where it belongs.
When you get a class ring as a teenager, Janice Mitchell did what any other girl would do.
"I never took it off, ever took it off," said Mitchell.
In 1980, she saved money for months, got gussied up for her Junior ring dance, and finally put her Stratford High School Junior Class ring on her finger.
"It was just a part of me. You know I was really looking foward to passing it down, or just having it," said Mitchell.
But two years later on vacation on a New Jersey boardwalk, it slipped off her finger. It turns out Walt Stowman was also there that same day in 1982 and picked it up.
"We stuck around for a while to see if anyone would show up looking for a ring, but no one ever showed up," said Stowman.
It sat in a box for years.
"I held on to it. I looked around and I figured someday, someday it will get back to it's rightful owner," said Stowman.
Then with a little prompting from his daughter they found Mitchell through the internet and social media. 10 days ago, Mitchell got a message on Facebook.
"I was like no way. I was like no way, you mean someone's had this the whole time. I was so excited. I was like no way," said Mitchell.
It came in the mail yesterday.
"I really love this family even though I haven't met them yet because they really went out over and beyond to make sure I got it safely," said Mitchell. "It's just a part my past that's come back to me that I never thought I would find."
And with the same enthusiasm she had in 1980, she says this ring won't slip off again.
"It's like I don't want to take it off any more," Mitchell said laughing.