BRIAN RUDOLPH, LOST ITEM RECOVERY SPECIALIST (LAND, WATER, SAND, SNOW, LEAVES, HOUSES & VEHICLES) WILL FIND YOUR LOST KEEPSAKE! CALL ASAP (301) 466-8644!
I received a phone call from a young lady named Ashley who was completely distraught and overwhelmed regarding the loss of not only her wedding band but also her engagement ring, as well. She and her husband Tyler contacted me while I was driving to another search in Washington, DC.. Their hope was that I might be able to help them recover these two very precious objects of love.
The couple found me on the elite international directory of metal detectorists called THE RING FINDERS. Upon reading my profile on the website, they learned that I provide metal detecting services in Baltimore, Maryland.
Ashley and Tyler went on to share details of how Ashley’s rose gold wedding band surrounded with diamonds and her rose gold engagement ring with a 1 carat solitaire purple sapphire surrounded by diamonds went missing. Apparently, 24 hours before their call to me, Ashley drove to an outdoor sportsplex to be involved in a flag football game. She parked her car, took off both of her rings, placed them in an outside pocket of a string backpack that contained her sports gear inside, and then proceeded to walk to the field to participate in the game. The pocket that she put the rings in had a zipper that was unfortunately broken. Knowing this, she took the precaution of pushing the sentimental pieces as far down into the pocket as possible and then carried the pack over her shoulder as Ashley headed for the game.
Later in the evening, after Ashley arrived back home, she remembered to retrieve the rings from her backpack. When she reached into the pocket, there was nothing inside! Panic began to set in! Immediately, she told Tyler of the situation and the two of them frantically searched their house and vehicle for the two most important material possessions that Ashley owned. Sadly, the rings were not discovered.
After the couple couldn’t find either one of the rings at their residence, they quickly traveled over to the sportsplex to see if maybe the rings dropped out of the backpack on the parking lot or on the football field. They spent hours looking and scouring every inch of where Ashley had walked, as well as where she placed her things during the game and neither ring turned up.
The two of them returned home demoralized by the unfortunate circumstances. Their only hope for finding Ashley’s rings was that they were lost in the grass where she put her things prior to the football game. Since they checked the parking lot already and everything looked clear, they were quite afraid that the rings could have already been spotted by somebody and picked up. Ashley and Tyler truly hoped that that was not the case and that the rings were still on the field.
The next day, Tyler went back to the sportsplex and checked the parking lot once again. Then, he moved his way over to the football field and investigated the grassy area one more time and his efforts unfortunately led to no avail. Ashley would do the same two more times before they looked online for additional help. That’s when I finally came into the story.
I felt so torn while I was driving to that Washington DC search because I knew that time was of the essence if Ashley had lost the rings on the parking lot concrete. They were emotionally worn out and extremely upset with what happened. I told the couple that if I finished the in-house search early enough that evening, I would drive straight to Baltimore to do a late night search for the missing rings. As it turned out, I did not complete the Washington DC search until after 10:00 p.m. . Therefore, I scheduled Ashley’s search for the following day sometime during the mid-afternoon.
It was a beautiful day outside as I drove into the city of Baltimore. To my right, I viewed many shipyards lined up along the very busy ports. On my left, were dozens of factories with smoke stacks and little houses that were intermingled between warehouses and old store fronts. I arrived at the South Point Sportsplex parking lot almost at the same time that Ashley arrived.
Once I parked, I made my way over to Ashley’s vehicle where we greeted one another and then the two of us immediately got started. She showed me where her car was originally parked and then took me to the football field. Upon getting back to the parking lot, I went to my car and retrieved the necessary equipment to search Ashley’s vehicle to see if the rings may had slipped down between the seats. I used a special endoscope to be able to fit down into crevices and spaces that the naked eye cannot detect. After checking inside, underneath and around both the front and back seats, I was convinced that Ashley’s wedding band and engagement ring did not drop out of the backpack inside the vehicle. This left us with checking the grass and the parking lot.
Next, I got out my metal detector and necessary gear to check the grassy path that led up to the football field. It took me maybe about 25 minutes to grid several lines back and forth; up and down the hill. That area was filled with trash but I was still able to confirm without a doubt that neither ring was dropped leading up to the football field.
Just as I was about to grid search the football field sideline where the backpack was placed just before the beginning of the game, I noticed a car pulling into the parking lot which parked extremely close to where I marked off that section with cones. Ashley had shown me the possible spaces where she believed she parked on the evening of the disappearance of the rings, and so I wanted to keep that area off limits to other vehicles. With urgency, I said to Ashley, ‘We need to protect our territory. Let’s delay metal detecting the field and I will cover the blacktop next while that car remains parked there’. She agreed with my plan and immediately the two of us returned to the parking lot.
It was at this point that I began to do a grid pattern on the parking lot concrete. Ashley recognized that the likelihood that the rings were actually on the concrete was extremely slim. And if the rings had in fact dropped out of the backpack prior to Ashley making it to the field, they would have been most likely spotted by either Ashley or Tyler, or a pedestrian who would have eyeballed the keepsakes as he or she was getting out of their vehicle or returning to their car upon leaving the football game (or some other event that was being held in the previous couple of days). When I deal with searches like this one, I don’t allow all of those negative (though realistic) scenarios get in the way of my search attempt. The reason why I call myself an Item Recovery Specialist is because I look at every possibility and I don’t count out any location or distance around that area where the item or items may have been lost.
I have to admit, when I was first contacted to do this search for the lovely young couple, I knew my chances were near to none in finding the rings there in the parking lot. The probability was much better that we could recover one or both rings hidden in the turf of the football field. They would have been securely hidden beneath the grass and protected from one’s eyes. Yet, I never doubt the possibility that a miracle can happen. I’ve seen and heard too many amazing and fantastic ring search finishes!
As I was detecting halfway into the third grid line on the concrete, I got a promising signal that I was compelled to check out. Up to that point I had recovered other little pieces of metal, including: a couple of pull tabs, a coin, and a few miscellaneous targets made of aluminum.
Just as I was going down to check out the object that I had detected, my eyes “zeroed in” on the most beautiful piece of jewelry that appeared to be rose gold in color, and the shape was that of a halo – or better yet…a ring! I did a double take and I could confirm that I had in fact found Ashley’s gorgeous engagement ring! It was stunning to look at! What an unbelievable recovery! I almost had to pinch myself because this was just too good to be true! I couldn’t wait to surprise the distraught young lady who was patiently hanging out in the parking lot about 25 feet from where I was conducting the search! Before I said anything, I continued on metal detecting with the hope that perhaps the wedding band had also not been spotted and picked up by someone.
I finished that particular grid line where I found the engagement ring and eventually moved on to the next lane, starting my way back in the other direction. Inside of me, there was so much suspense and tension building within because I knew that if I was going to find the wedding band, it would most likely be found not too far away from where the first one fell out of the backpack. Well, just as I swung my Minelab Equinox 800 detector approximately 3 feet from where I found the 1 carat solitaire purple sapphire surrounded by diamonds engagement ring, I got another fantastic signal that was worth checking out. I began to kneel down to investigate the target when all of a sudden another rose gold ring came into sight! It was Ashley’s rose gold and diamond tiara wedding band! Once again, I couldn’t believe what was happening! Not only did I recover the engagement ring, but I had found the missing wedding band, as well! Incredible! What a miracle! I know that the prayer that Ashley and I petitioned up to God just prior to beginning the search had absolutely been answered! The complete ring set belonging to this sad and defeated bride was about to return to Ashley’s left hand! Wow! What a moment that I was experiencing! The odds of this happening is few and far between! My heart was racing uncontrollably! The two rings had fallen out of the backpack just as Ashley had removed it from her vehicle! Then, for the next couple of days, the precious jewelry laid bare on the parking lot concrete, unseen by the couple and everyone else for that matter! Incredible! It had not even been run over by a tire!
Minutes later, I surprised Ashley with the first ring! She was completely blown away by my discovery! The moment was totally surreal! And then…I unveiled the second band! That’s when the floodgates within her eyes opened up and at that point there was no stopping the pouring tears of happiness! She was beyond grateful for my work and so very relieved that the two most important material objects that she owned (which she thought were most likely gone forever) had returned to her once again…and forever they will remain with their rightful owner! I will never forget that day in Baltimore, Maryland when I recovered those two beautiful symbols of love from that busy South Point parking lot where they laid for nearly three days!
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