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Message in a bottle found by Amherstburg, Ont., couple 29 years after its launch

Message in a bottle found by Amherstburg, Ont., couple 29 years after its launch
From CBC - August 12, 2017

John Worrelland his wife, Diane, combtheir beach on Lake Erie at least once a week to clean up the clutter that washes ashore. Butone afternoon this July they found treasure among the trash.

The Worrellshail from Markham, Ont.,where "it's totally beat into you that you must recycle," joked Diane, so they are used to cleaning up thevariousplastic bottles that end up on their sandy stretch in Amherstburg, Ont. but this one was different.

"It was green and faded and beat up with no label on it," said Diane.

'My name is William Shuford (Billy), age 12 and I'd like for you to get in touch with me.'

- Message in a bottle

Like a good recycler, John tried to take the top off, but but it wasstuck tight. When he looked a little closer he noticed a faded note stashed inside, so he grabbed a pair of scissors and snipped the bottle off at the neck.

As they read the carefully written message, the couple were overcome with curiosity.

My name is William Shuford (Billy), age 12 and I'd like for you to get in touch with me. My phone # is (313)-892-2399. Address [scratched out]. Please respond!Detroit, Michigan 48203

"How old is this?" Diane recalled thinking. "It was so sweet, you know, a 12-year-old boy'Where's the date? Is it three years old or 30?'That's the first thing that went through my mind."

John's first thoughts were a little different.

"I looked at it and said, 'We should get in touch with this person and make their day.'"

The couple called the number, but it had been disconnected. A reverse number search found it had last belonged to someone named William S., but the trail seemed to end there.

The note sat in the Worrell's house for about a week before John decidedhe had to do something. So he called the Detroit Free Pressand asked reporter Allie Gross for help.

Message in an Uber

William Shufordwas riding in an Uberin San Fransisco, where he works as a head hunter and Airbnb host,when he got a message from aFree Press reporter, who asked if he was the same Billy Shuford who tossed the bottle into the river.

"I just could not believe it at all," Shuford said, describing how he excitedly held his phone up to showthe driver a photo of the note he penned 29 years ago.

Return to sender

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