Editor’s note: This story originally published in April 2017.
Imagine the surprise of a man who lost everything to Hurricane Katrina, and nearly 12 years later learned his class ring had been found.
Chris Logan of Oxford, Alabama, lived in Pass Christian in 2005. He was flabbergasted when he got a recent phone call about his class ring from Dora High School, said Pass Christian Police Detective Sgt. Michael Burkett.
“He was leery of who I was at first, but then he was ecstatic,” Burkett said. “He was flabbergasted. He said he had just been talking about how he wished he could give his class ring to his son.”
Burkett is using down time on the job to try to find the owners of items that appear to have value to someone.
He has been a Pass Christian police investigator for two years, since February 2015, and took over its evidence vault the following September. He found several boxes of lost items turned in after Katrina with hopes that the rightful owners could be found.
Burkett is also friends with people who enjoy using metal detectors. Sometimes they give Burkett items they’ve found that may have clues to the owners’ identities. Burkett puts those items in what he calls a turn-in box.
Burkett found the class ring in the turn-in box. An inscription on the ring said “Chris J. Logan.”
Sharing the search
Burkett would use several investigative internet research services before he found Logan.
He posted pictures of the ring on the police department’s Facebook page on April 12. The ring was one for the Dora (Alabama) High School Class of 1989. Burkett asked for people to share the information.
With the help of a friend with access to a people-finding search service, Burkett learned Logan’s legal name is James Christopher Logan. Using the legal name, a search found Logan’s old phone number, which led to the discovery of his new phone number.
With that information, Burkett learned Logan had lost a home on the west side of Pass Christian during Katrina. And he had played football at Dora High.
The post was shared in North Alabama. Within a day of the posting, Burkett began receiving information and was able to identify the ring’s owner. He mailed the class ring to Logan’s home address.
Burkett said he lost his own home in Long Beach to the 2005 hurricane.
“If somebody showed up with something of mine, I would be excited,” Burkett said.
Burkett found five boxes of Katrina-related items in the police department’s evidence vault. He opened one box to show the Sun Herald on Monday and he looked for items with possible clues.
The ring isn’t the first item he has been able to return, but it’s the most memorable, he said.
“I felt excited to find the owner of the ring,” Burkett said. “It would make me happy to find the owners of everything that was turned in to us.”