Treasure hunter hopes to find owner of miniature urn found at Siesta Key Beach

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A Sarasota County man with a metal detector found something that is likely worth than buried treasure to its owner: A miniature urn hanging from a necklace, appearing to contain the ashes of someone's mother.

Shawn Rauch, who is part of a metal detecting group, was searching the water off of Siesta Beach Sunday for a ring someone had lost. Around sunset, he was ready to give up.

"We're at the very end, the sun is down and I start walking back from the sand bar and I'm going to head straight to the car," he said Tuesday. "I'm walking through the channel. I'm up to my chin in the water and I get this sweet tone in my metal detector."

Rauch reached into the water and scooped up the necklace.

"I said, 'Wow, this kind of looks like a small urn,'" he said.

On the urn was one word: Mom.

"As soon as I realized that someone's mother is in this necklace, I said, 'Well, if I'm going to return anything, it's got to be this,'" Rauch told FOX 13, adding he believes it was probably dropped in the water over the weekend. "This was like brand new, so I'd be willing to bet that it was lost within the last couple days, probably the day I found it judging by the condition of it."

Rauch has a knack for finding lost items at the beach and returning them to their owners. In the last six years, he's been able to do that 20 or 30 times.

But this mission might be his most important one yet.

"This is what I enjoy doing more than anything, is to be able to return things and this would be the top thing that I could possibly return," he said. "You can imagine just how devastating it must be. This could be the last piece of their mother that they have and it's gone."

In less than 24 hours, Rauch's Facebook post about the necklace had been shared about 2,000 times. He's asking anyone who believes they know the owner to contact him through Facebook.