Biloxi resident Sonya Fountain Miller called what happened to Murrell Jarman a "Christmas miracle."
And a Christmas miracle it may be.
Jarman's tale is one that spans almost six decades. It's the story of a missing ring, a good Samaritan, luck, determination and social media.
Many years ago, Jarman was on the track team at his alma mater, Biloxi High School. After graduating in 1956, He joined the military and left South Mississippi behind. He also left behind his Biloxi High Class of 1956 ring, along with the hopes that he would ever see his ring again.
"We had a track meet in Pascagoula and that day was the last time I saw my class ring," Jarman said. "I lost it somewhere on the track."
As the years rolled by, Jarman went on with his life and the class ring became a thing of the past.
Then one day he decided to show his grandchildren some photos of where he attended school.
"We got on the Internet, and I was looking at a Facebook page called 'Old Biloxi Recipes by Sonya Fountain Miller,'" he said. "She had a post that said someone had found a Biloxi High class ring from 1956 with the initials MJF in it. I started to wonder if it was my ring."
The good Samaritan
For Atlanta resident and 1954 Biloxi High graduate Richard Carron, the ring saga began 15 years ago.
"I was working at a hospital in St. Tammany Parish, and I started talking to the chaplain at the hospital," Carron said. "We were chatting and as it turns out, he was from Pascagoula."
Carron said the chaplain had found a Biloxi High class ring on the football field in Pascagoula, the site where many track meets were once held.
"He asked me if I would help return it to its owner, and I told him I would," Carron said.
Carron said he spent many years looking for the ring's owner but to no avail.
"For the past few years, the ring just sat on my desk collecting dust," he said. "I had given up hope of returning it to its owner. I had tried contacting the school, and they couldn't find any records from 1956."
Carron then turned to the Internet. He said he found a Facebook page someone had created for Biloxi High alumni.
"I posted some information about the class ring on the Facebook page in hopes that I could find the owner," he said. "This was about a year ago."
Once again, his search was fruitless.
"A few people reached out to me and told me the person that owned the 1956 ring with the initials MFJ had died," Carron said. "At this point, I just hoped I could get it to his family."
The power of Facebook
But MFJ, or Murrell Jarman, was not dead. He was living in Tennessee.
Miller said she saw Carron's post regarding the ring on the Biloxi High Alumni page, and she decided to share it with others.
"I posted it on both my personal Facebook page and the Old Biloxi Recipes page," she said. "I posted it back in May."
After seeing the ring information on the Facebook page, Jarman said he sent a message to Miller, the page's administrator.
"Mr. Jarman messaged me a few weeks ago and said that was his ring," Miller said. "So, I contacted Mr. Carron and they exchanged information."
Miller, a 1983 graduate of Biloxi High, said that although she has never met Jarman or Carron, she was glad to help Jarman find his ring, especially right before Christmas.
"I'm thrilled," she said. "I can't imagine the emotions he was feeling to find his class ring after 59 years."
The return of the ring
After making contact with Jarman, Carron said he put the ring in the mail. And after almost 60 years, Jarman was reunited with his ring.
Returning the ring provided some closure for Carron.
"I'm very happy I was able to do that for him," he said. "I was so frustrated that I couldn't find him. I'm elated that he has his ring back."
Jarman said was grateful when he received a package from Carron in the mail.
"I never thought I would see the ring again," he said. "It looks like brand new. I can't believe it has found its way back to me after all of these years."