Time capsule buried for slain Ohio girl discovered during school demolition

Loved ones had been searching for the capsule ahead of the building being torn down.
Time capsule created for Amber Garrett found during school demolition
Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 9:44 PM EDT
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HARRISON, Ohio (WXIX) - The search for a time capsule that was buried in honor of a Harrison girl 30 years ago has come to an end. Crews discovered the item, buried in tribute to Amber Garrett, while demolishing an old elementary school.

Amber was only 10-years-old when she was abducted and murdered in 1991, but in her short life, she made an impact.

“She was an incredible piece of my life and everybody else’s that she was in. She didn’t know a stranger,” Pamela Reamer Petti, a classmate and friend of Amber’s, said. “Everybody who met her loved her.”

Not long after Amber’s death, her teacher and her classmates at Harrison Elementary School created a time capsule in her memory. They buried it on school property.

The original elementary building was recently torn down to make way for a parking lot at the newly constructed elementary school.

Demolition crews kept an eye out for sentimental items while working on the property. On Friday, they found them.

“A bunch of small pieces of the newspaper article that was in there. There’s a videotape, and there’s a rock, and there’s a few very small things,” Reamer Petti said. “It’s neat that what’s left was left, but it’s still a little heartbreaking that there wasn’t more.”

The Southwest Local Schools Superintendent John Hamstra says they are looking at different ways to preserve the mementos, whether it is putting them in a case or creating a new time capsule.

“The elements had definitely gotten the best of the package and probably destroyed quite a bit of what was in it as far as paper products, letters, etc.,” Hamstra said. “It’s a heavy situation despite being decades ago. It still resonates heavy in the community, and we want to make sure that as a school community we continue to honor her memory.”

A tree planted on the same school property in honor of Amber is still standing too, and soon it will not be the only one. Hamstra says a landscaping company is donating another one in case the old tree does not handle the shock of the demolition and pavement work.

In the fall of 2021, there will be a formal ceremony held to celebrate Amber’s life by showcasing the new tree and the old capsule.

“With them continuing to do that, it’ll keep awareness going, and she’s not forgotten,” Reamer Petti said.

School officials say they also found a sundial connected to Amber.

Demolition work on the old school is expected to wrap up this week.

Anyone who wants to be involved in the time capsule ceremony in the fall can stay updated through the Amber Garrett Memorial Facebook page.

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