WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - For 51 years, Sandy Morison of Rio Vista, Calif. carried a heavy burden.
"I felt so guilty. I didn't know what to do," he said.
In 1966, Morison lost his deceased father's 14-karat gold cross.
"It's the only link between me and my dad," he said.
Morison was 18 and on vacation in Hawaii when it happened. He was wearing the cross when he went surfing in Waikiki and it came off. He remembers the panic he felt.
"I dove down a whole bunch of times. I couldn't find it," he said.
What made it worse was Morison had stolen the cross from his mother's jewelry box. That added to the regret.
Then, last week, Waikiki resident Jon Abila was snorkeling about a hundred yards off Waikiki when the sun cut through the water.
"I glanced across. This object was shining," he said. "I took a second look back and I saw that it was something gold."
The cross was caught in coral. Abila retrieved it, took it home, cleaned it, and saw the name Alexander Morison inscribed on the back.
He said he didn't think for a second about keeping it or taking it to a pawn shop. He took some photographs of the cross.
"I posted it on Facebook, and everything just exploded," he said.
Followers of Facebook page Stolen Stuff Hawaii located Sandy Morison and confirmed the cross belonged to his dad.
"When I first saw the cross I was absolutely overwhelmed. I was floored. I started crying," he said. "I couldn't even believe it. I was absolutely amazed. I didn't think it was real."
Abila and Morison have spoken over the telephone.
"I feel I did something awesome for somebody that had this guilt for 51 years. I did the right thing," he said.
"He's an unbelievable person. What a great spirit that guy has," Morison said.
Stolen Stuff Hawaii will bring Morison to Honolulu next month so Abila can hand him the cross in person.