North Riverside resident Laura Culafic was on the line with a request. Could we, she wondered, help her track down someone named Cindy Mahood?

A former resident of Brookfield, Mahood had gone to Riverside-Brookfield High School, graduating in 1972. Culafic knew that because she had Mahood’s class ring – a small gold band with an aquamarine stone capped by a school crest. The numbers 7 and 2, both highly stylized, bracketed the stone. The ring bore the initials C and M.

Culafic had called RBHS to see if there was a record of anyone with those initials who graduated in 1972. Sure enough, there was just one – Cindy Mahood. But apart from having the name, Culafic was running out of leads. So she called the Landmark.

After a few minutes of Googling the name, it was clear that more than one person with that last name had graduated from S.E. Gross School prior to 1970, including someone named Sandra, who we figured was a relative.

The online listing also handily included Sandra’s married name, Dorgan. As luck would have it, she owned a pizza place, Ledo’s, in Countryside. A few minutes later, we called her and soon had a promise from Sandra to let her sister – now Cindy Lloyd of Richmond, Va. – know that someone wanted to reunite her with her long-lost high school class ring.

A short while later, Cindy called.

“This is the most bizarre thing that ever happened to me,” she said.

On Monday shortly after noon in the parking lot of the Polar Bear in North Riverside, Culafic handed over Cindy’s ring to her daughter, Liz Lloyd, who was in town visiting college friends.

I just wanted her to have it back for her 40th anniversary [of graduating from RBHS],” said Culafic.

Just when Culafic’s father, Peter Trentadue, found the ring isn’t clear, but it was likely in the early 1970s. The Trentadue family lived in LaGrange Park, near Beach Oak Park. About five blocks away, at Cleveland and Jackson in Brookfield, lived the Mahoods.

It’s possible that Trentadue found the ring at the park or just somewhere in the neighborhood. The last time Cindy Lloyd really remembers seeing it was the day she gave it to her then-high school boyfriend. When the two broke up, she thought he had given the ring back and that she gave it to her mother.

But when her mother died, Cindy couldn’t find the ring among her mom’s things. “Maybe the boy I dated in high school didn’t give it back to me like I thought he had,” said Lloyd.

After high school, Lloyd left Brookfield. In 1992, she and her husband moved to Virginia to be near her husband’s mother. In the meantime, she forgot all about her class ring.

“When you leave high school, your class ring is the last thing you think about,” she said.

When Culafic’s father died in March, she and her mother, Lucy Trentadue, were going through a box and found the ring. At first, Culafic thought the ring must have belonged to her mother, but her mom said it wasn’t hers.

Then they looked at the ring through a magnifying glass and discovered it was an RBHS ring.

While Culafic was able to connect with Cindy Lloyd back in May, the reunion was held up a few months after a couple of possible dates fell through. Cindy hoped to come to her class reunion in October but was unable to do so. So with her daughter in town in September, Cindy figured this would be the time to make the connection.

On Monday afternoon, Liz Lloyd and Cindy’s sister, Stephanie Waszak, arrived at the Polar Bear with a bouquet of flowers for Culafic.

Culafic handed Liz a small blue box containing the ring, which Liz examined closely. While Liz thanked Culafic on behalf of her mom, Culafic was clearly pleased that the ring was going back to its owner after nearly four decades.