News10NBC's treasure hunt continues: Lost ring

November 16, 2018 06:15 PM

It was a News10NBC treasure hunt.

In the spring, News10NBC helped track a gold ring found buried in Mendon Ponds Park back to the rightful family. Now, the hunt continues.  


This was a mystery. 

The gold ring was from a school in Pennsylvania, class of 1953. But, what was it doing buried in Pittsford? 

News10NBC used a treasure hunter and a genealogist to track down the student's granddaughters and now, their journey takes them through their grandmother's footsteps. 

Lisa and Lindsay Schwebke are walking in a place where, just six months ago, they never knew existed.

It's East Stroudsburg University, just south of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This is where their grandmother went to school.

How do they know? They have her ring. 

But it's how they got the ring that starts our story. 

"Right over here is where I got the hit," said Kevin Catalfamo walking in Mendon Ponds Park in April. 

More than a year ago, Catalfamo, an amateur treasure hunter, found the ring under a tree in the park. After he cleaned it off, he found the initials engraved inside the band: MMB. 

"When you find something like this, it's very personal," Catalfamo said. "I just want to give it back. I think it's the right thing to do."

Through some contacts, Catalfamo learned it was Mildred Burton at East Stroudsburg Teacher's College. But when he hit a wall, he called News10NBC Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean for help. 

News10NBC tracked down Lisa Neilsen, a genealogist in Spencerport.

Neilsen used wedding certificates and obituaries to find Lisa and Lindsay. Then, a week later, Kevin and Brean went to their home in New York City to hand over the ring. 

Kevin Catalfamo: "And there's no doubt in my mind that this was your grandmother's."

Lisa Schwebke: "That's crazy."

Lindsay Schwebke: "That's a really cool story."

Because their grandmother and mother died so young, Lisa and Lindsay knew nothing about their grandmother Millie. But this week, they were invited on campus by the university. They walked the same sidewalks and saw buildings their grandmother would have studied in. 

Lindsay Schwebke, Mildred Burton's granddaughter: "It's just nice to walk where we know she walked."

And they got a copy of her yearbook. 

Lisa Schwebke, Mildred Burton's granddaughter: "So to have that physical book, to be able to flip through, and see and feel like you get that little piece of your grandmother and see what carries through to you. It's really special."
The Schwebke sisters had virtually nothing from their grandmother. Now, they have her ring, her yearbook and a brand new story. 

Click here to watch our original treasure hunt.


Berkeley Brean

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