Kelly remembered having both her diamond wedding band and her diamond engagement ring on her finger when she left the house with her daughters that day. She vividly recalled taking a brief dog walk down a side street with the kids, said goodbye to Dan who drove off for a few hours while the group was taking their stroll together, returned back towards the house, grabbed the mail from the community mailbox, dropped off the mail inside their townhouse and then proceeded to walk a half block up the street to a neighborhood park to play.
Kelly was absolutely certain that she was wearing both rings when she left the house because her girls were ironically asking about her two special keepsakes. They were curious and wanted to play with them. Their mother explained to them that these pieces of jewelry were very special to her and were not to be played with.
All three ladies enjoyed their time at the park. First, they played on some jungle gym equipment that was located on the lower level of the recreational property. Next, Kelly walked up the hill and explored different places with the girls around the quaint and sweet environment. At some point, Kelly picked up some sticks to remove them from a certain area in the park and threw the dead branches into the woods. I believe the family then played tag and ran around the trees and tried to hide from each other. Then, the three started to entertain themselves with a time of “make believe” over by another area of the park. The girls constructed a makeshift fort over by a particular tree and Kelly helped her daughters gather some sticks and rocks to assist in building their imaginary creation.
After a couple of fun-filled hours had passed by, it was time for the three of them to return back to the house to prepare for the evening supper. At some point shortly after arriving back to the house, Kelly noticed that her wedding band was no longer on her finger! The engagement ring remained intact but her special marital keepsake was gone! Kelly was beyond devastated! She didn’t know what to do. She called Dan and let him know what had transpired and he too was uncertain as to how to handle the matter.
Upon Dan’s return home, after the children were tucked into bed, Kelly’s husband went to the park in search of the sentimental band. He used a flashlight to scan the ground but nothing turned up. The next day, the couple searched some more and before long, the whole community came out to assist in hunting for Kelly’s missing ring once word had gotten out about the matter on the neighborhood’s online forum. Perhaps twenty to thirty people took part in trying to solve this mystery and sadly, with all of their efforts to recover the diamond ring (using metal detectors and high lumen lights), it still was not found.
After three days of searching for the lost white gold band with diamonds, Dan and Kelly had exhausted all of their efforts. They were so afraid that someone had already picked up the ring because this little guy was nowhere to be found. It was at that point that Dan and Kelly were searching online for new ideas as to what to do next. That’s when THE RING FINDERS popped up! It’s an international directory of metal detecting specialists that are experts in finding lost rings! Immediately, Dan reached out to me, Brian Rudolph, and I was excited to take on the challenge!
The next day I arrived at Dan and Kelly’s house in Springfield, Virginia. I asked to be taken to all of the places where Kelly and the kids had walked and played several days earlier. Once we finished the tour (which started at their small lawn and ended up at the park) I had a good idea as to how to attack this project. Dan returned inside the house to do work while I gathered up my gear to begin the search.
The first step that I took in this investigation was to metal detect the front lawn of the house along with the sidewalk in front of their place and around the side of the townhouse which leads down the hill where the family had said goodbye to Dan that day. When there were no positive targets to check out, I metal detected around the community mailbox and unfortunately there was still no ring found.
The second leg of my adventure took place down the street at the park. I first started detecting on the wood chips where the playground equipment was located. I found a few miscellaneous coins and metal objects but not the item that I had hoped to find. Then, I detected the grass leading up the hill where Kelly had walked with the children, and still there was nothing found worth celebrating.
My third focus was to search all of the areas on top of the hill where Dan took me to show where Kelly had walked and hung out. I detected around the trees and did grid lines along the grass areas. There was a lot to cover. I scanned the spot where Kelly threw the sticks into the woods, and yet with all of those areas checked out, I still came away empty handed.
Next, I moved my way towards the section of the small park where Kelly and the kids made that little fort out of sticks. I kept hoping that that would be the place where Kelly must have lost her ring as she was using her hands a lot in that region of the park. Still, after working my way over and over again, back and forth, repeating my swings several times over, I wasn’t able to recover the sentimental jewelry.
After several hours of detecting since I began in front of Dan and Kelly’s house, I started to get emotionally weary and tired. I began to doubt that the band was lost in the park or that it may have been picked up by someone walking by days earlier. It was starting to get late in the afternoon by the time I finished searching most of the real estate at the top of the hill. At that point, there were only two sections left for me to metal detect. One area was perhaps about 30 feet from where the girls were building their fort. It was just on top of the hill under a tree but still a grassy spot to detect. I decided to scan the second possibility first which was a portion of hill that Dan had told me about. Kelly ran up and down that section of the hill with one of the girls during their fun time playing in the park.
Once I finished the six to eight grid line passes that I had made as I went up and down the hill with the detector, I could accurately count out yet another piece of property where the precious halo of diamonds was not lost. I now had only one more spot to check and that was that space at the top of the hill underneath the fairly large tree whose branches stretched over the hill a ways.
I began making a search pattern from the area where the make believe fort was built and moved in straight lines towards the grass that was located underneath the tree (approximately 15 feet away from the trunk). During my third pass, just as I detected a section of grass near the crest of the hill, I hit an unfamiliar target signal. It had been so long since I had gotten anything of interest and now finally a great signal was picked up in the headphones! I was truly hoping for the best as I knelt down to investigate what this object was. I knew it had to be a surface find just by the way the target sounded from my detector. Just as my handheld detector began to beep (indicating that the object was right under my portable machine) I immediately caught a glimpse as to what the item was that both detectors were picking up! It was a shiny silver-like color ring! I picked it up and immediately the diamonds began to talk to me with brilliance! I found it! I found the lost diamond wedding band that belonged to Kelly! She must have lost it while she was picking up sticks in that very spot as she was helping the girls build their imaginary fort! I couldn’t believe that I recovered the band knowing that I had almost no search area left in just a matter of minutes! I was so relieved and beyond excited to find the item that I was starting to think had not disappeared in the park or that someone had already picked it up and walked off with it! Frankly, I was in a state of shock because it had been so long since I started searching down the street and nothing had turned up until that very moment when my detector began to “sing” that beautiful melody that I love to hear when searching for lost rings!
Knowing that my search was finally over and that I could soon reveal the good news with Kelly and Dan, there was such a feeling of rejuvenation and restoration of energy that made its way through me! I couldn’t have felt happier for Kelly at that moment in time!
Early that evening, I surprised the family with the return of Kelly’s beloved wedding band and they were beyond blown away with happiness and disbelief! I even shared with them that there were people walking back-and-forth around the park during my search and they too had no luck finding the ring. Doubt began to set in with those people as well because it had been so many days and nobody could find the precious jewel (including myself for those many first tough hours out there)!
I was so excited for the couple and the children were also thrilled at what I was able to accomplish for Kelly. A special story that was connected with that wedding band was preserved for many years to come! Four grand smiles returned to the faces of that family and many thanks and words of appreciation continued to come my way in the days that followed.
Kelly and Dan still could not believe that what was lost out there in the park for so many days was actually found by one determined Ring Finder! They figured that with so many people looking for Kelly’s sentimental keepsake, it most likely was gone forever. Well, I was so proud to be that one to bring that special little treasure back home to Kelly’s ring finger! What a day that was!
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