Ten-year-old Kentucky visitor finds phone missing for more than four years in Gulf

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Kentucky resident Jenna Ferguson and her father Jason were snorkeling in St. Andrews State Park Tuesday when they found buried treasure of sorts!

The phone and belongings were mailed back Wednesday. (WJHG/WECP)

Jenna said, "Five minutes in, ten minutes in, we found the phone. We were kind of in shock, I was in shock, I don't know about my dad."

Inside the phone case were an iPhone, a license, a debit card, and $20, all in seemingly good condition.

The Fergusons got in contact with the owner of the phone, Kristina Jingling, and found out she'd lost it more than four years ago.

They say they found it almost nine miles from where she lost it while she was visiting Panama City Beach during spring break.

Jingling said, "I was actually helping a friend at the time who had gotten stuck in the water and I had all my stuff in this waterproof case so it was kind of an emergency situation. Once I got out of the water I realized I had lost everything."

Wednesday afternoon Jenna and her dad set off to the UPS store in Panama City Beach to return the phone to its rightful owner in Austin, Texas.

Ferguson added, "I'm just glad we might have saved some pictures that she might have had, and memories, and stuff like that."

"Obviously, that was a really awful experience, that moment, losing all my stuff," said Jingling, "but to know that there's still really nice people in the world who are sending it back to me, with the $20, with the iPhone, and all those things."

For the Fergusons, the phone will always be their bit of buried treasure and for Kristina, she'll walk away with memories from years back and a little spending money.

The Fergusons say they wish to keep in contact with Kristina in the future.

Copyright 2019 WJHG. All rights reserved.