65 years later, Covington native finds essay she wrote in used Bible

(KCAL/KCBS/CNN) - A 75-year-old woman finds an essay she wrote when she was 10 years old and living in Kentucky.

This wasn't an attic discovery in a box of childhood mementos. She found it inside a used bible she had recently bought at a book store in California.

"I call it my OMG story … my, oh my God," Marion Shurtleff said.

Like any story worth telling, this one starts with the mundane and ends in a mystery.

"I thought a while that I'd like to have another Bible to compare with my Bible that I had to see how the verses changed," she said.

Shurtleff walked into this tiny new and used bookshop in San Clemente five months ago and bought a used bible.

"I flipped through it. I liked it," she said.

When she took it home, she noticed a yellowed folded letter inside.

"And a couple times, I opened the Bible and I looked at this side and I looked at the other side," she said.

Two months went by before she took a closer look.

"And then I opened it up, and instantly I saw my name," Shurtleff said.

She has since changed her name from Mary Lou to Marion.

"I recognized my handwriting. I hollered. I started shaking. I cried. I had goose bumps," she said.

Tucked inside was an essay that she wrote 65-years-ago to earn her merit badge for girl scouts.

"Be kind to animals. Do not pick flowers. Don't walk on the grass," she wrote.

Shurtleff says she wrote that letter in her hometown of Covington, KY, more than 2,000 miles away.

"How did it get here? I think there's got to be a tie to the person who kept this. Why would they keep it," she said.

This cancer survivor believes the letters unexpected return is a sign from above.

"Maybe it was sent to me for a reason. Maybe that person should be in my life," she said.

She contacted the bookshop - so far, no leads.

But Shurtleff is not losing faith. She is hoping a relative of Bonnie Jean Edwards - the woman who graded her paper - lives somewhere in the southland.

"I want to try and find the person who had the Bible. Who would keep this? Why? It's just a big 'Why,'" she said.

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