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Notre Dame class ring found in African cave

A college ring lost more than 20 years ago by a former undercover officer for the CIA has been found in an underwater cave off the coast of an African island.
This Notre Dame class ring was found by a German diver in a cave off the coast of Mauritius — more than 20 years after it was lost by its owner.
This Notre Dame class ring was found by a German diver in a cave off the coast of Mauritius — more than 20 years after it was lost by its owner.Courtesy Clare Cavoli / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio — A college ring lost more than 20 years ago by a former undercover officer for the CIA has been found in an underwater cave off the coast of Africa.

Steve Ruic, a writer on staff at Notre Dame College, received an e-mail about two weeks ago from a professional diver from Germany. Wilfried Thiesen wrote that he had found a class ring bearing the college's name while diving off Mauritius.

The ring was engraved with the year '76. The ring was missing the thin portion on the underside that ordinarily carries its owner's name.

Ruic publicized the discovery in both an e-mail to college staff and a newsletter to alumni, but no one came forward to claim it.

Ring to be mailed
Then, while interviewing a member of the class of 1976 for an unrelated alumni magazine story, Ruic asked Dr. Maryellen Amato Stratmann if she'd ever been to Mauritius.

In this photo released by Clare Cavoli Lopez, shown is Clare in wet suit, diving off the coast of Mauritius in 1983 at the site known as "Le Cathedral" at Flic-en-Flac. Lopez lost her Notre Dame College class ring while diving at the site sometime over a two year period. The ring was recently found by a German diver several weeks ago. (AP Photo/Photo Courtesy Clare Cavoli) ** NO SALES **Courtesy Clare Cavoli / CLARE CAVOLI LOPEZ

"I couldn't believe it," Ruic said. "She said, 'No, but Clare Cavoli Lopez has.'"

Lopez, a 1976 Notre Dame College graduate and former CIA undercover officer, was stationed at Port Louis, Mauritius, from 1983 to 1985. During a dive, the ring slipped from her finger.

Ruic sent Thiesen's address to Lopez. She has exchanged e-mails with Thiesen, she said Monday, and they're arranging for him to mail it.