Paul Humphreys, Author at The Ring Finders

Lost Platinum Wedding Ring Found! – Geneva Lake, Wisconsin

  • from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

Sunday July 10th 2022, found Chesterfield, Missouri resident, Bill Thanner enjoying a welcome vacation with his wife and three children on the picturesque shores of Geneva Lake, near Fontana, Wisconsin. While snorkeling and diving for shells at Fontana Beach, Bill dropped some of the shells his children collected. It was when he reached down to grab them in chest-deep water, his platinum wedding ring slipped off his finger and disappeared into the murky water. Together, they tried snorkeling for the ring but it was nowhere to be found. Bill felt sickened to his stomach at the thought of losing his ring after 15 years of marriage. It was a sad drive home to Missouri.

Several days later, Bill’s mother, who lives some 800-miles away in the state of Georgia, heard a person on a local radio station talking about The Ring Finders metal-detecting services. She informed Bill, who in turn called me on Monday, July 25, a full two weeks after his ring went missing. Could I assist?

I arranged the 45-minute drive to Fontana Beach early the next morning. The beach was deserted at the time. Using markers Bill had sent to me via Google satellite maps, I systematically scoured the vicinity using my XP-Deus II SCUBA-rated detector. I found a collection of coins, a cross pendant and a cheap lady’s costume ring, but Bill’s platinum wedding band was nowhere to be found. I wondered, had someone already found it? After about an hour and half, I decided to expand the search area. That was when I heard a crisp signal in my headphones. The numbers on my controller screen told me the target was quite possibly Bill’s platinum wedding ring. As it turned out, it was!

I took some photos of the ring and texted them to Bill right away for identification purposes. Bill responded, “That’s it! Unbelievable… the Mayors Jewelry symbol and the missing ruby hole is mine for sure.”

I immediately mailed the ring to Bill from a Milwaukee post office the following morning. It arrived on Saturday, July 30th, just shy of three weeks since it disappeared in a Wisconsin lake. Bill texted, “Received! Unbelievable! Thank you!”

If you or someone you know has lost a ring, even years ago, chances are it might still be found. Don’t let its story end. Contact a member of The Ring Finders today.

Missing Two Years – Wedding Ring Found! – Pewaukee, Wisconsin.

  • from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

I work as a hospice chaplain. It was during a routine pastoral visit with Pewaukee, Wisconsin home patient, Judith Sherman and her husband, Dewey, that I learned about the loss of his wedding ring.

When the couple was married in 1962, Judith placed a gold band on Dewey’s finger vowing to love and to cherish him for life, “for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health.” Fifty-eight years later, in 2020, the ring vanished from Dewey’s hand one fateful afternoon as he worked along the shore of their picturesque lakefront home. Two long years had now passed. Despite repeated search attempts, the precious love-token seemed lost forever.

A metal-detecting specialist with over 40-years’ international experience, I couldn’t help but briefly engage the couple in a line of forensic questioning about its disappearance. I learned Dewey had lost some weight, that his ring was fitting loosely at the time. He was working with some garden hoses beside the lake, hooking up a water pump to irrigate his wife’s beautiful flowers. In the evening, to his horror, he realized the precious ring was gone.

Did the ring leave his hand when he threw the pump line out into the water? Was it buried in the murky depths of the lake? Was it laying in a crevice among the rocks along the shore? Had a crow or blackbird picked up the shiny item as they are known to do? Perhaps, the ring had landed in the grass and was pressed out of sight in the turf. A very large tree in the vicinity had since been removed, its stump leveled by a commercial grinding company. Had the ring been chewed up by the grinder’s iron teeth? A low area in the lawn was leveled using topsoil and sod. Was the ring now buried deeply beyond detection? These questions and more remained unanswered.

With the couple’s permission, I voluntarily returned later in the day, offered up a silent prayer and set to work searching in the water. A myriad of signals from the lake’s murky bottom bore testimony to decades of human presence—rusty iron, nuts, bolts, tin, nails, beer cans and a century-old spoon. But, after an hour of scouring the lake bottom, Dewey’s wedding ring failed to surface.

Moving onto the shore, an overwhelming array of metallic signals chirped their presence in my headphones. Ferreting a gold ring out from all the noise was challenging, even with my state of the art, XP Deus ll detector, knowledge and expertise.

Three hours into the search a faint signal begged investigation. Cutting a plug of grass about 6-inches deep, I turned the sod over exposing the black soil beneath. The signal was now clear and crisp. Breaking open the clump, Dewey’s wedding ring suddenly flashed its golden presence in the evening sun!

Returning to the house, I discreetly slipped the ring into Judith’s hand where she lay on her hospital bed in the living room. “I want you to be the one to give it to him,” I said.

When Dewey appeared, Judith asked him to come and sit beside her. Even in her weakened state, her face radiated love and grace. She held out her trembling hand and then opened it to reveal the ring she had given him 60 years before. The emotions of that moment were beyond words!

Actual photos taken when Judith gave Dewey his long-lost wedding ring, the one she placed on his finger 60 years ago!

Football Wedding Ring – Lost and Found! Browns Lake, Wisconsin

  • from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

Here in Southeastern Wisconsin USA, June 14th was the hottest day up to that point in 2022. The outside temperature gauge in my VW Tiguan showed 95-degrees Fahrenheit. That’s 35.5 degrees Celsius for the benefit of my family members and friends in Canada and Australia. Either way, it was a warm day for Wisconsin. And a good reason to be cooling off at the lake.

Franklin, Wisconsin resident, Niko Savic was doing just that with friends and their boats on a sandbar close to the shore of Browns Lake, near the picturesque town of Burlington. While standing in waist-deep water, a toss of a football was all it took to catapult his Tungsten Carbide wedding ring off his hand into the water’s murky depths. Friends quickly joined in the search using goggles and snorkeling gear but it was as though the Lake had swallowed Niko’s ring whole, never again to see the light of day.

The next morning, a kind and considerate lakefront property owner gave Niko permission to access the area from her home. Niko spent several hours searching carefully, but the ring was nowhere to be seen. That’s when his wife sent him a link to The Ring Finders Directory of metal detecting specialists and my contact information. He texted me and soon we were speaking on the phone and arranged to meet on location that same evening, unless the threat of a pending thunder storm would put the search at risk.

As it turned out, the weather cooperated and we arrived to clear skies. The usual boaters and lake lovers were gathering in the same location where Niko had been the night before. They were understanding of our mission and cooperated beautifully by giving us the space we needed to conduct the search. Indeed, they became our cheerleaders!

Typical of Wisconsin vacation lakes, the bottom was a minefield of metallic targets of every description. I ignored most of the signals, listening intently for the unique sound of tungsten carbide, a high-pitched but solid tone attuned to my ears over 40-plus years of underwater detecting. About 40 minutes into the search, I heard it. And Niko’s ring appeared shortly in my scoop!

Making my way towards Niko, he called out to me saying, “I think you are in the right area!” Little did he know I had his ring in my hand. I responded, “I think you are right, Niko. It is the right area!” Then I gave the ring to him.

That’s always the fun part. The jaw-dropping look of disbelief, the hugs, the high-fives, the raised beer cans and cheers and shouts of “congratulations” from the crowd that had gathered. It would all have made a heart-warming end to a televised docudrama. Wish you were there. But the smile on Niko’s face really tells the story!

My thanks goes to Niko’s wife who searched for and found me on the The Ring Finder’s Directory. And thanks to all the friends who moved their boats and gave us space in the water to search. And a special thanks to one very kind and considerate home owner who gave permission to access the area through her backyard. Success, sometimes, takes a team working together.

TESTIMONIAL: After searching for my ring for several hours the morning after losing it, I had little hope of finding it. After giving Paul a call, he assured me that it was possible. Paul took the job very seriously and met up with me that evening. Sitting down and talking to him afterwards assured me that not only was this service rewarding for him, but his life’s work is all about others. Amazing man, and amazing service! Niko Savic (Client)

Boat Wedding Ring Lost & Found! Eagle Lake, Wisconsin.

  • from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

The evening of June 9th found Damien Rushing reaching over the back of his boat as he neared shore on Eagle Lake, Wisconsin. As he did, the unthinkable happened! His 18k gold wedding ring slipped off his finger into the murky water. As his precious ring disappeared into the lake’s depths, it was like watching a slow-motion video with the sound turned off. Could it really be happening!

Despite Damien’s valiant attempts to retrieve his ring with the help of friends and strangers who came to his rescue, the ring seemed destined to remain forever hidden in the lake’s muddy crypt of secrets, never to see the light of day again.

Just after 5:00 a.m. the next morning, my phone let off a text-message alert. It was Damien. A long and sleepless night led to the discovery of my metal-detecting services @ The Ring Finders website directory. Could I help?

I rearranged my work schedule as a Hospice Chaplain and agreed to meet on location at Eagle Lake, a half-hour drive away. Damien was waiting for me @ 7:30 when I pulled into the parking lot close by the boat dock. The chilly morning, overcast sky, a light drizzle and the desperation on Damien’s face made our meeting a somber one at best.

I quickly donned my Minelab Excalibur underwater detector, gathered my extraction equipment and waded out into the area where Damien believed the ring had come off his hand. The lake bottom bore witness of years of human activity. Metallic signals, like a football stadium, competed for attention in my headphones. Additionally, a large retaining wall made of heavy iron was close by. Distinguishing a small gold-ring from amongst such a cacophony of sounds was challenging even with my 40-plus years of metal-detecting experience. Not to mention the deep mud.

Finally, after about an hour of eliminating targets in an especially “busy” patch of signals, Damien’s precious ring lay in my sieve, glistening once again in the light of day! And the smiles on both our faces tell the rest of the story!

TESTIMONIAL: Paul’s metal detecting skills and prompt attention are amazing. He took time out of his schedule to look for my lost ring on short notice. The area that the ring was lost was loaded with metal and underwater debris. The dark murky water reduced the visibility to only a few inches so I had little hope of seeing it they the water. I am forever grateful I found him on ring finders. Paul has a great personality, is passionate about his work, and has a very helping heart. Damien Rushing (Client)

Thunderstorm Wedding Ring Found! Elm Grove, Wisconsin

  • from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

On Thursday, May 26, 2022, thunder, lightning and torrents of rain joined forces to demand the attention of long-time Elm Grove, Wisconsin resident, Michael Kelnhofer.

As Michael looked out into the storm he suddenly remembered that one of the down spouts from his roof was plugged. Not wanting to risk a flooded basement, he sprang into action. Grabbing a ladder from the garage he raced outside and began removing wet leaves and debris from the rain gutter with his hand. He threw each handful out into the garden area behind his house. It was only after he retreated back inside that Michael realized his wedding ring was missing! But it wasn’t just any wedding ring. The ring belonged to his dear father who had passed away four years prior. It was a precious keepsake! Indeed, Michael’s mother had given it to him when he was married. Now it was gone!

Michael and his wife searched frantically. They tried using a metal detector but the ground only emitted confusing chirps and cackles. Michael even hired a company to check the underground drainage from the house to the road in case the ring had gone down the drain. All to no avail. That’s when I received a text message asking for help. But as it turned out, I was preparing to leave the country early the next morning and was unable to respond immediately as I normally would do. And so, I arranged to search for Michael’s ring upon my return.

On Saturday, June 4th, I met Michael at his residence. As with all searches, I take a forensic approach, asking lots of questions. He showed me where he obtained the ladder and the pathway he took and the general grass area where he had thrown the debris from the roof. I noted the presence of bushes and foliage in the vicinity, places a ring might have gotten hung up. It is a matter of systematically eliminating where the ring is not.

For those interested, on this search I used an XP Deus II detector and 9” Coil. I had pretty much searched the entire backyard area and was moving towards the side of his house when I encountered a signal consistent with a 14k ring. Parting the thick grass, I confirmed its presence!

I left the ring in its place and called Michael over. Giving him a hand-held probe (pin-pointer), the kind we use for isolating targets, I showed him how it responded to the wedding ring on my own hand. He was impressed. Then I directed him to use the probe and check the grass area around our feet. When the pin-pointer sounded off it didn’t take long for Michael to locate his precious keepsake. The smile on his face tells the rest of the story.

And it is those emotional moments that make ring finding so meaningful!

TESTIMONIAL: Paul, first I want to say thank you for finding my wedding ring. There aren’t many items I have of my father that means as much as his wedding ring. Thank you for taking the time to search my yard and most importantly being so passionate about finding my ring. Thanks again Michael

Hay Bale Wedding Ring Found! – Waukesha, WI

  • from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

When Waukesha, Wisconsin resident John Harstine realized his wedding ring was missing late in the evening of March 7th, his mind went into overdrive retracing his movements that day. Where had it gone?

An electrician by trade, he called the client where he had been working but there was no sign of the ring in that vicinity. John checked his work van with the same result—no ring. He recalled that his wedding ring was fitting loosely. He had planned to get it resized. Now it was missing and he fought the feeling of regret deep down in his heart.

John’s wife happened to see my car the next day in Oconomowoc, about 20 minutes away. She noticed the signage in my window, “Lost Ring? Call Paul!” My accompanying phone number and QR code prompted her to take a picture of the car. The chance encounter with my vehicle turned out to be providential. John called me the next day and we reviewed his timeline of activities.

The evening of the loss, John recalled throwing some hay bales down for the horses he was feeding. As he described the situation, it seemed highly probably that his wedding ring may have flown off his hand with the hay. Did one of the horses swallow the ring? The thought was not comforting.

We arranged to meet on location at the farm the following evening. On arrival, John showed me the stalls, the hay in storage and how he had pulled the bales down and thrown the hay into feed nets for the horses. We also went outside to the corral and met Abe and Saul who were happy for the company and attention. But when I saw the size of their pasture, images of an extended night of searching flashed in my mind. The search was definitely a long shot. The possibilities, almost endless!

To begin, I chose an XP Deus detector with a small High Frequency coil, one that responds well to gold rings. It would ferret out the smallest signals in the confines of the horse stalls. But there was a heavy presence of metal inside the building requiring careful analysis and adjustments. It would be a matter of elimination, of systematically ruling out where the ring was not located.

As it turned out, I didn’t experience a long, cold night of searching through horse manure in a vast pasture. John’s ring appeared right where he threw the hay bales two nights before!

John’s smile tells the rest of the story! But you know, I can’t help but wonder. Was it really just by chance that I was in Oconomowoc that day?

Parking-Lot Wedding Ring Found! – Menomonee Falls, WI

  • from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

It happened on Saturday, January 22nd in Menomonee Falls, WI.

Resident, Michael Zeddies realized his gold wedding band was missing from his hand! Michael and his wife, Roxanna, searched frantically throughout their apartment without success. The following Friday, I received a text message from Roxanna asking if I might be able to help and so we arranged a telephone interview that afternoon to explore the circumstances surrounding the loss.

It is always my goal to help people find their own rings if possible and so after establishing a forensic timeline of events I provided Roxanna a list of places they could look. The list included clothing, shoes, boots, pockets, closets, bed, couch, recliner, kitchen drain, heat vents, washer, dryer, drawers, clothes hamper and car. Situations also have to be considered such as outsiders (contractors) in their home, children, pets (large dogs swallow rings). Had they vacuumed or thrown out any garbage? Had they gone anywhere? Did they drive, walk, run? If so, where had they gone and what did they do? What was the fit of the ring; was it loose? What were Michael’s habits; did he remove the ring often and if so, where did he place it? Such is the line of forensic-type questions that often help guide individuals in their search process. But there is still a limit to how much one can do without the assistance of an experienced metal-detecting specialist.

In the course of our interview, Roxanna briefly mentioned how Michael had cleaned the snow off the car in the public parking lot behind their home. I made a mental note about this because freezing temperatures, cold hands and the act of scraping ice and snow from a vehicle can present a lethal combination of circumstances, a perfect storm that has resulted in people losing rings without realizing it at the time.

Despite the couple’s best search efforts, Michael’s ring evaded discovery. I reached back a few days later and offered to search the parking lot area where Michael had cleared the snow from his car. It was a long shot because the couple’s activities had included a trip to visit friends on the Saturday. They had also stopped to buy gas. The ring could be anywhere. But the parking lot stood out in my mind as a place that needed to be ruled out.

We arranged to meet on location at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 1st. eleven days after Michael’s ring had gone missing. He showed me the approximate location where he was parked. The pavement was clear of snow except for a small ridge in front of the car where a plow had pushed it. If the ring had fallen onto the pavement, it would have been visible and anyone could have picked it up. The thought was disheartening.

I set about detecting and immediately picked up the steel reinforcing in the driveway and parking barriers. Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) was also present from buried electrical cables in the area. After making adjustments to my XP Deus detector, I concentrated on the non-ferrous signals and quickly found a couple pennies. I even gave one to Michael to keep as a souvenir. Some 20 minutes later, a mixed signal caught my attention. After moving the snow, there lay Michael’s wedding ring where it had fallen on January 22nd.

Thank you, Michael and Roxanna, for the privilege of searching for and ultimately finding your wedding ring! I’m so happy for you both! And thank you too for your kind reward.

One-Month Old Wedding Ring Found – Lake Mills, Wisconsin

  • from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

Winter-driving conditions here in Wisconsin, USA can be challenging at times. Lake Mills, resident, Nick Nienas experienced this first hand around mid-day on January 28 when he attempted to navigate a snow-covered driveway entrance. As it turned out, the road was not where he thought it was and the front wheels of his car sank into the crusty snow leaving Nick’s vehicle high and dry in the ditch. Despite his best efforts to dig his car out, it was the kindness of a passerby that finally got him back on the road. However, in the process of excavating through the snow, Nick felt his one-month old, 10K gold wedding ring fly off his hand!

“Four out of ten married men in America will lose their wedding bands,” says Chris Turner, CEO of The Ring Finders, citing a survey done years ago by RingSafe.com, which sells a ring accessory. “That’s just the men — not including women. So, the number of rings being lost is unbelievable.”

Nick was only married four weeks! Now he was a statistic. He couldn’t believe his precious love token was gone! It had seemingly vanished into the whiteness.

Once his car was safely back on the road, Nick went back and combed frantically through the snow with his hands. The ring was nowhere to be found. He even made a trip to a local hardware store and purchased a metal detector. But the detector proved futile when it kept sounding off erratically. After a long, cold and disheartening afternoon Nick was at his wits end. Then he discovered The Ring Finders directory of metal detecting specialists and telephoned me about 7:30 pm. I could hear the desperation in Nick’s voice.

Immediately, I drove the half hour to Lake Mills and met Nick at a local service station. Following him out into the countryside we arrived at the location and surveyed the ditch. It looked like a war zone with its craters and evidence of digging. It was also cold, 10 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 12 Celsius) and a very dark night.

When I turned my equipment on, buried electrical cables instantly made their presence known in the form of what detectorists refer to as EI (electromagnetic interference). Little wonder Nick’s detector was futile in such a challenging situation. From experience I was able to make appropriate adjustments using my XP Deus high-frequency equipment. The search didn’t take long, only 10 minutes at the most. The clear, unmistakable tone of 10K Gold invited investigation into the now hardened, crusty snow. A detecting probe helped pinpoint the exact hiding place of Nick’s ring. The warmth of the ring had caused it to melt down some 8” into the snowbank where it landed. And it was still pristine, with hardly a scratch.

So glad to have found your ring, Nick! May its story and your marriage continue for many, many blessed years to come. While you are now a 4 out of 10 statistic you can be comforted in knowing you are also included in the approximate 80% of clients I’ve successfully helped to recover their lost rings!

Brush Pile Wedding Ring Found! – Franklin, WI.

  • from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

Franklin, Wisconsin resident, Dallas Schurg, was clearing trees and brush along his backyard fence line when he suddenly realized his wedding ring was missing. He had clipped the ring to a carabiner on his belt loop for safety while cutting and moving the brush. He had heard horror stories of rings catching and causing serious injury. And so, he was being cautious.

But his efforts to stay safe himself somehow failed to keep his ring safe. Now it was missing, presumably lost amongst the huge pile of brush alongside his fence line. Or was it lost in the house somewhere? Dallas wasn’t entirely sure.

I received a text message from Dallas explaining his situation saying, “I have a very good idea of where it ‘should’ be as a starting point.” The “should” be, left room for the unknown. This is typical of many ring searches. But one has to start somewhere and after speaking with Dallas, I felt his presumption was a reasonable one.

Arriving on location, Dallas led me to the back of his house where a huge pile of brush bore testimony to his long hours spent cutting and dragging the baseball-bat-sized diameter trees away from his property line. We agreed to search the areas around the piles of brush and eliminate those locations first of all. If the ring was underneath the brush, it would have to wait until Spring.

The fence line bore evidence of decades of discarded metallic debris. Old gardening and farming implements, cans, bottles, wire, foil and nails seemed to join forces to hide Dallas’s ring. Such large targets can mask the presence of smaller non-ferrous targets. But 20 minutes into the search, the lost ring appeared beneath a clump of leaves and sawdust! It was pressed deeply into the mud, barely visible.

Dallas shared how he and wife had been praying about the ring, asking God for wisdom and for grace to accept the outcome. I too am a man of faith. I work as a Hospice Chaplain, journeying with people at end of life. I love God, the Creator-Owner of the universe, the One who sent His son to die in our place. I don’t pretend to understand just how God works behind the scenes in life but I truly believe He cares about the things we care about and He delights in answering prayers. He is keenly interested, even in a lost ring!

Thanks, Dallas, for the opportunity to search for and find your wedding ring. Your smile, and that of your wife, speak volumes. Praise God!

Zipline Bracelet Found! – Lake Geneva, WI

  • from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

March 20, 2021 was destined to be a fun-filled day for Brenda Teela and Jim Nachreiner at the popular Lake Geneva Ziplines & Adventures near Lake Geneva, WI. Ziplining was a new experience for Brenda, one she will never forget. The sheer thrill of riding the tree tops was unlike anything she had experienced. But the day took a sudden and heart-wrenching turn when her highly-sentimental bracelet vanished from her wrist. The silver bracelet was a Christmas gift from Jim.

Fast forward 8 months.

I received a phone call from Brenda asking if I might help find her cherished keepsake. Initially, the prospects of trying to locate such a small target in 100-acres of Wisconsin woodlands was daunting—a long shot. But after cross-examining Brenda’s account of her activities in a forensic manner, it was Brenda’s own careful analysis and detective work that made the search a viable one, even after all those months. A photo clearly showed the bracelet on her wrist at one of the zipline staging points. Then another, taken a short while later, revealed it missing. The bracelet had to have been lost somewhere in between. This photo evidence gave a reasonable glimmer of hope.

We arranged to meet on location November 21, a gorgeous fall-day. Stephanie and Dana, the managers working at Lake Geneva Ziplines & Adventures, together with their helpful staff, were most cooperative. Their kindness spoke highly of the company’s care for its clients.

We began probing the forest floor near one of the staging points. Jim worked ahead of me, carefully moving fallen branches. The remains of several sunglasses, camera lens caps, a company camera, some small change and other metallic debris quickly filled my pouch, evidence of zipliner traffic over many years. A couple hours into the search found us beneath a long swinging bridge, one of the amazing features of the Lake Geneva Ziplines & Adventures property. It was there that a promising signal from my search coil invited investigation. It was Brenda’s bracelet! It lay in a clump where it had fallen from the bridge some 25’ above. A broken link bore evidence of what happened, answering so many questions in Brenda’s mind.

The smiles tell the rest of the story! It was a tearful and emotional reunion to say the least.

Thank you, Brenda & Jim, for the privilege of searching for and finding your precious bracelet.

And our heartfelt thanks to the wonderful people at Lake Geneva Ziplines & Adventures whose cooperation and kindness made it possible.

You can check them out at:

lakegenevaadventures.com.