Naval Academy Class Ring is Returning to Owner, 20 Years Late

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) - A retired Navy fighter pilot will be getting his class ring back, 20 years after it went missing from a Pensacola motel room.

A Pensacola businessman recently spotted the ring in a shipment of scrap gold he was melting down. Bob Bruce says the ring clearly said "Class of 1969," but the name inscribed inside the band was nearly illegible. Only first two initials "R" and "E" and the "Junior" were clear.

Bruce contacted the 1969 Naval Academy class secretary, who eventually traced the ring to Robert E. Riera Junior, now living in Maryland.

Riera was visiting family in the Florida Panhandle when the ring went missing. He says he left the ring in his motel room one night, but couldn't find it when he came back.

Bruce plans to hand the ring over to Riera later this month at a coin convention near Baltimore.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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