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Texas sheriff's office to return unique lighter found in Anchorage to owner

SAN ANTONIO -- A Texas sheriff's office on Monday turned to social media in an effort to track down the owner of a cigarette lighter used by a deputy more than 50 years ago but recently purchased in Alaska.

The hunt began when the Bexar County Sheriff's Office posted a photo of the lighter on its Facebook page Monday morning.

Sheriff's officials in San Antonio were checking the records for a Deputy Mitchell, who apparently served in the 1940s or 1950s.

A former San Antonio man, Doug Williams, saw the lighter Friday at an antiques store in Anchorage. A badge attached to the lighter has the words "Mitchell," ''Deputy Sheriff Bexar County" and "1294."

Williams recognized Bexar County, where he once lived, and bought the lighter for $45. Williams posted a photo of the lighter online in an effort to find Mitchell, saying he wants to learn more about the deputy.

Later Monday, the Bexar County Sheriff's Office posted an update to Facebook saying the owner of the lighter was identified.

KSAT-TV reports that Stanley Mitchell had the lighter custom made when he worked as a deputy. It features a replica of his badge, including his name and badge number. Sheriff's office investigators used the information and old employment records to track down Mitchell.

Mitchell says he lost the lighter at some point after retiring and moving to Alaska.