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Phone returned to owner after 12 months in Ontario river

A cellphone containing precious photos of a deceased relative was returned to a woman a year after she dropped it into an Ontario, Canada, river.

Jordan Miezlaiskis, of North Carolina, said she and her husband, Scott Kjelson, were visiting Ontario in July 2020 to celebrate the birthday of her brother, Jesse, when she dropped her phone into the Chippewa River when visiting Chippewa Falls.

“We were having a good day fishing, and everything was fine, and I put my phone down on one of the rocks, and of course it took a tumble and slid down, and we all watched it go into the water,” Miezlaiskis told SooToday. “Obviously, that water can be deep and is extremely fast.”

The family attempted to find the phone with a magnet, but eventually gave up the search.

Miezlaiskis returned to North Carolina, and tragedy soon followed when Jesse died in an ATV crash, leaving the last photos of the family together at the bottom of the river.

Miezlaiskis returned to Ontario in July to mark her brother’s birthday and coincidentally received a message from a stranger in town.

“We went back to his home to celebrate his birthday like we did last year, and that day I got a message on Facebook from this complete stranger who had said he and his brother were diving at the falls and they found my phone,” Miezlaiskis said.

“He thought I had just lost it because it was in pristine condition — it didn’t look waterlogged or anything.”

Miezlaiskis was reunited with the phone, and the precious photos it contained.

“They just popped up like nothing,” she said. “It was wild. The phone had been underwater for a year in 12 feet of water and it was as if nothing happened.”

Miezlaiskis said it was remarkable that the phone was rediscovered when she happened to be in town.

“We were like, what are the odds? It make you question things and wonder. The timing of it all — a couple of days before his birthday — and that happened,” she said.

Miezlaiskis said she feels as though her brother had a hand in the phone’s return.

“I know that was Jess reminding us that he is still here and sending us the biggest signs we could possibly receive. He finally got that phone out of the water,” she wrote in a Facebook post.