PALM COAST, Fla. - Stephanie Winnek couldn't believe it when she found a message in a bottle. But it wasn't just a message. The bottle also included the cremated remains of a woman named Cindy Rounds.
The bottle had travelled over a thousand miles from Rhode Island to Florida. It was a journey four years in the making. The message from Rounds' four children explained that she had died of cancer, and that they wanted her to see the world.
"March 2nd, 2010 at 11:45, heaven gained a new angel," the letter read.
A mother herself, Winnek was compelled to reach out to Rounds' children. Her daughter Athina was overjoyed to hear the bottle was found.
"I didn't think we would hear anything," Athina told FOX 35. "So when I received the text message on Friday I was like, 'oh my God, someone found it!'"
Winnek and her husband sprinkled some of the ashes under a palm tree before sending a new bottle back out to sea.
"I feel like they're family now. I probably talk every day through text message with them," says Athina.
Watch the video to see how this Winneks are now part of Cindy Rounds' journey and family.