Man Finds 21-Year-Old Message in a Bottle

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IONIA, Mich. (WILX) - For the past 21 years, a message from two Lansing girls traveled 35 miles down the Grand River to Ionia.

"It's in pretty good condition really. I mean, it was water stained, it was damp and when I took it out of the bottle. But, it's in really good condition for being 21 years old," said Terry Smith.

Smith found the film case while hunting for mushrooms Monday afternoon.

"You never know what you're going to find in something like that; and, this was quite a surprise," he said. "I couldn't believe it that it lasted this long."

Inside, Smith found three pieces of paper written by 12-year-olds Angela and Leah in 1994.

Two of the papers are covered in drawings of the girls. The third is a letter to whoever would find it.

"I thought it would be quite an experience if I would get a hold of them and let them know that I did find their message," Smith said.

And, less than 24 hours later, we found Leah.

"I'm shocked I'm totally shocked," said Leah Sedelmaier. "I was just "was this us?" you know, like I don't know. It's strange."

She doesn't remember putting it all together.

"We used to play in this creek that's back here in the neighborhood; and, we used to make rafts and have races with them. I totally believe we would've done something like that," Leah said.

Now, she's reconnected with Angie to try to piece together a 20-year-old memory.

"We went to school together. All the way - grade school through high school," Leah said. "See if she remembers, because that would be neat."

Smith is actually from Ohio. He's been in Ionia on vacation. He tells us this isn't his first message he found, but it's the first one that's been legible. He plans to put the notes in a photo album as a keepsake.

NOTE: The message says the two girls are twins. Leah tells me they were just best friends who happened to have the same birthday, so they used to tell people they were twins.