A class ring lost by an Oregon woman in 1975 turned up more than 40 years later in a pile of dirt at a woman’s home 34 miles away.

Lori Gregory said she had taken her ring off to wash her hands at Forest Grove High School when she was a senior in 1975 and she realized a short time later that she had left the item in the bathroom. She said it was gone by the time she returned for it.

That was the last time the ring’s whereabouts were accounted for until fall 2018, when KC Curiel found it in the dirt while working in her garden in Newberg, 34 miles away from Forest Grove.

Curiel posted photos of the ring on Facebook in the hopes of finding the owner, but the post didn’t yield any leads.

It wasn’t until November 2019 that Curiel was able to match the name inscribed inside the ring, Lori Hitt, to the Forest Grove resident who changed her last name when she married in 1989. She was able to track down Gregory with help from Ancestry.com and The Oregonian newspaper.

Gregory said a friend had mentioned the Facebook post to her one day before she was contacted by the newspaper, but she assumed the ring couldn’t be hers because it was found so far from her home.

Curiel said the ring may have traveled to her home with a mound of dirt her husband brought home from a landscaping job. She said he often brings home soil to use in their home’s garden.

Gregory and Curiel met up in a Fred Meyer store parking lot and the ring was returned to its original owner.