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Woman finds 60-year-old message in a bottle in Mashpee, returns it to family

Message in a bottle found on Mashpee beach 60 years later
Message in a bottle found on Mashpee beach 60 years later 02:05

MASHPEE - A message in a bottle washed ashore in Mashpee. Inside was a letter from a 14-year-old girl. It had been floating in the ocean for nearly 60 years, and now it is returning to the author's family.

"I was just walking, and I was looking for stuff in the seaweed the whole time, and this bottle appeared," said Kate Rivers, the Rhode Island native who found the bottle. "I looked inside and noticed a letter stuck to the outside of it. There was handwriting, and I was like this isn't even real right now?"

She was strolling along South Cape Beach when she spotted the Coke bottle and its distinct orange cap. Somehow the note inside was still partially intact.

Message shared on social media  

"I got it back to the place we were staying at. I blow dried it a little bit, and I could make out a bit of the note stating she was a 14-year-old, possibly with the name Wendy. It had an address on it," said Rivers. "I was ready to find Wendy at that point. I shared it on social media, and immediately everyone was intrigued by this story. It was crazy that the address was clearly written, and we were able to go right to that place."

The address was on Kinnicutt Road in Worcester. Quickly, people began to recognize the handwriting and the address. It belonged to Wendy Warner. She owned a horse farm in western Massachusetts.

Mashpee message in bottle
Message in a bottle found on beach in Mashpee CBS Boston

 "She was the most unique, interesting, creative, whimsical person I have ever met. She always reached out to those who didn't have anybody else and brought them in and gave them a seat at the table," said Warner's daughter Aja Talarico. "When I saw the letter, I immediately knew that was her handwriting. She has had this handwriting her whole life that is very, very unusual, and recognizable. It's something that is distinct, and a lot of people have pointed it out over the years."

Talarico says it makes sense that the bottle was found where it was because her grandparents had a summer home in that area.

"I visited my grandparents there every weekend when they were alive. It's like a 14-year-old version of my mom is trying to get in touch with me, and to reach out to me which is really cool," said Talarico. "It's so like my mom to be frustrated with the world, and write her feelings down on the note, and toss it into the ocean."

"I have been waiting for a sign"

Warner passed away three years ago following a sudden heart attack. She was in her 70s. Talarico says her mother was tossing hay bales around right up until the day she died.

"I have to admit my mom passed away three years ago now, and I have to admit, I have been waiting for a sign to know where she is," said Talarico.

Rivers is in the process of mailing the letter back to Talarico and her family. 

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