A group of friends in Nassau, the Bahamas’ capital city, are searching for answers after finding a silver locket, etched with Fresno County coordinates and carrying a photo of two young people, at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
Alec Packington, a native Bahamian, found the locket Saturday morning while diving. He works part time conducting underwater security checks for cruise ships in Nassau Harbor, a major tourist hub.
“I always see plates, dishes, bottles and other weird stuff at the bottom,” Packington said in a phone interview Monday. “But I picked out this little locket sticking out.”
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Packington opened the locket and found a picture inside. It appears to show a man with red hair standing cheek-to-cheek with a woman, who appears to be blonde. They are both wearing dark clothes. The photo has nothing written on its backside. The other side of the locket has a small mirror.
When Packington closed it, he noticed what appeared to be longitude and latitude coordinates etched onto the once-silver locket’s worn exterior. He cleaned the locket up and entered the points into Google, which directed him to the center of the intersection of Highway 41 and Elkhorn Avenue just south of Caruthers.
“At first I thought maybe they (the two people in the picture) were married there,” Packington said. “I saw that there isn’t much there, so then I thought maybe someone died there.”
In fact, at least 10 people have died at that intersection over the past decade. The rural area is particularly treacherous when early-morning fog rolls in.
There isn’t much in the area. Fresno County’s Elkhorn Boot Camp, which once housed juvenile offenders, is empty. The Southwest Transportation Agency keeps its buses in a yard to the north.
Another theory is that the two people pictured inside the locket met somewhere near the intersection, Packington said. They could also be family members. The woman appears to be a little older than the man – maybe his sibling or mother.
Packington posted photos of his find on Facebook, where he said his friends have puzzled over the mystery.
“It’s the first time I have ever found something like this,” said Packington, who has been diving in the Bahamas for 20 years. “By the growth on it, it hasn’t been down there more than a few years – maybe six months to two years.”
One friend, Heather Carey, contacted The Bee after reading a story about the most recent fatal crash in that intersection and asked the newspaper to investigate. If anyone has any information on the locket, the location or the two people pictured inside, please contact The Bee.
Fatal crashes at the intersection etched on the locket
▪ On Oct. 2, 2015, a 36-year-old Fresno man was killed in a head-on collision after trying to pass another car across a double yellow line.
▪ In March 2013, a 59-year-old Lemoore man died in a head-on collision with a big rig.
▪ Amalia Lirio, 63, died in July 2011 in a solo rollover crash.
▪ Nicholas Strickland, 29, of Lemoore, died in September 2010 after he was hit from behind while stopped at a red light on his motorcycle.
▪ A 35-year-old Lemoore woman died in November 2008 after her truck was hit by a big rig.
▪ Cecilia Galicia, 34, and Bryan Galicia, 9, were killed in a hit-and-run accident in November 2007.
▪ Shawn Lallier, 24, of Santa Clarita, was killed in a traffic collision in July 2007.
▪ Louie Oliveira, 17, of Lemoore, and Michael Ramirez, 17, of Riverdale, were killed in November 2006 after a pickup they were riding in collided with a big rig.