South Carolina woman's message in a bottle found in Georgia after 29 years

Edisto message in a bottle.jpg

The date was September. 26, 1988.

An 8-year-old girl from Union, South Carolina did something people have been doing for centuries.

Visiting Edisto Beach with her family, Miranda Chavez (Miranda Moss, at the time) tossed a message in a bottle into the ocean.

"It was just something I wanted to do," Miranda says. "I thought it would be neat to see where it was found."

For a while, Miranda says she wondered where it might be.

Her answer never came, but Hurricane Hugo did one year later.

"I honestly thought it was lost," Miranda says of her mindset at that point. " I thought something happened to it."

A generation passed, with the bottle seemingly lost to time and tides.

"I eventually forgot all about it," Miranda says.

Flash forward to Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017 --- 29 years and some 90 miles away on Sapelo Island, Georgia.

Eleven people were cleaning up after Hurricane Irma on part of the island known as Nanny Goat Beach. Linda Humphries and her husband, David, were among the clean-up crew, when David spotted something out of the ordinary.

"David went far down toward the south end, where there tends to be more debris," Linda says. "We can always count on finding bottles for all manner of products, but one caught David’s eye, because it looked like it had a piece of paper in it."

The weathered plastic bottle broke apart in David's hands as he unscrewed the lid, Linda says.

Her husband carefully removed the slip of paper inside, gave the note a quick glance, and continued working. When they met later, Linda says, David showed her the note, and they read it together.

“Hello My Name is Miranda Dawn Moss. I am 8 years old. I am in third grade at Foster Park, Union, S.C," the letter read. "I came to Edisto Beach for a weekend.”

The note also showed a map of Edisto Beach, with the location Miranda and her family were staying marked on the map.

Given the relatively short distance between Edisto and Sapelo, Linda says she and David didn't think the note was all that remarkable.

Then they notice that date.

Sept. 26, 1988.

"I was floored." Linda says.

The couple started searching the internet for Miranda the moment they got home.

"We had a maiden name, an age, and the town where she had once lived," Linda says. "David and I were able to come up with three possible phone numbers, but they were dead ends."

At a dead end, Linda says she posted a photo of the letter on Facebook, asking people to help them find Miranda.

"Things exploded," Linda says. "Within a short time, someone messaged me a screenshot of Miranda’s Facebook page. I contacted her through instant message and got a response right away."

"I was amazed," Miranda says. "It definitely took me back to some of my happiest childhood memories."

The Humphries' say they're working to send the letter back to Miranda, with a few other "treasures" from Sapelo Island.

"Edisto has been a part of my life since I was a child," Miranda says. "Edisto is still one of my favorite places. My family loves it."

Now 37 with three children of her own, Miranda says she'll definitely encourage her kids to launch a message of their own the next time they visit.

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