GRAND ISLE, La. — The U.S. Coast Guard may believe it has solved the mystery of how a floating building decorated with mermaids reached New Orleans, but a woman with local connections isn't convinced.

Bonnie Drude-Marin, who has a second home on Okaloosa Island, has been visiting Okaloosa County for 50 years. When she saw a photo of the building on the news Wednesday night, she knew she'd seen it before. And she's hoping other local folks with long memories will confirm her recollection.

"I thought I had seen it off of the waters in Destin," said Drude-Marin, who also has a home in a New Orleans suburb. "When I used to go to the beach a lot, in the late 1990s, early 2000s, I remember seeing that floating."

She also remembers it floating just off the beach, with red letters advertising ice cream, and thinking about how optimistic its owner must be. 

"It was hot as anything and people were trying to sell ice cream?" she says. "People on inner tubes were going out and trying to buy it."

On Thursday, the Coast Guard said that the building belonged to the Parrot Key Hotel down in Key West and that it came unmoored during a tropical storm.

While Drude-Marin can't swear that she saw it here, since she has traveled extensively through the state, she can't shake the feeling that it spent some time along the Emerald Coast

The building is green with lavender trim. The side that would have faced land features a painting of the mermaid, a sea turtle and an octopus. Above the blue door on one end, a sign appears to include the word “shed.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.