A five-year-old exploring around a beach near Fort Bragg last week came across a glass bottle with an adorable message inside, and after the boy's mother and local news stations like ABC 7 have tried their hardest to track down the writer of the message, they went seeking the public's help. After the story went viral, Peoplefinders and the MasterQueue data service claim they located the mother who wrote the note for her son when he was in the 5th grade.
The message was from a boy named Chris, who was living in Sacramento at the time, and it was dated September 5th, 1988. The boy who found the New York Seltzer bottle in which the note had survived these last 27 years, Ryder Goggin, now wanted to hear from this Chris, but all he and his mom had to go on was a non-working phone number.
The full message, which Ryder found at Jug Handle State Reserve on New Year's Eve (which is also his birthday), reads:
Hi my name is Chris. I am 10 years old and in the 5th grade. I live in Sacramento. Call me when you find this to let me know where it washed ashore. 916-383-5390. September 5th, 1988.
Ryder's mom, Heather Baird, told Sacramento's FOX 40 that she immediately tried calling the number, but it's disconnected.
A reverse lookup on the number showed it belonged to a man named Chris Farnsworth in 1981, and another search via the Library of Congress found that another man it belonged to in 1988 was now deceased.
The story, because it is charming, then made national headlines, sparking the hashtag #FindChris, and sparking at least one keen-eyed observer to say that the handwriting was not that of a nine- or ten-year-old boy, but probably a woman's, likely the boy's mother.
MasterQueue takes credit for finding the mother in this post on Facebook. They don't say what the lead was that led them to the unidentified woman, via Peoplefinders, but they say she teared up when she heard the note had been found. "He loved NY Seltzer," she said of her son, adding, "[He] will be so happy someone found the note, especially a young boy like he was at the time I wrote the note for him."
We'll update this post if and when FOX 40 or another station can confirm that this mother is real, and hopefully they'll be able to get Chris on the phone.
Said Baird, after her son found the bottle, ""I think it would be great to find Chris and to find out where he put the bottle in the water. I hope we find out some really good things about where his life went."