• from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

Annual yard work and garage cleaning are two chores John Ritter of Menomonee Falls is always glad to check off his honey-do list. But the weekend labors of May 15-16 proved less than satisfying when John realized his wedding ring was missing. He searched frantically, even scouring the ground on his knees in all the locations where he had raked and pulled weeks. Did the ring get thrown out by mistake? This thought left him with a nauseating feeling.

I received a phone call from John and reviewed his timeline of events. After 40 plus years of experience, I’ve learned forensic-type questions can greatly narrow the possibilities. Given the variety of activities and the amount of time that had lapsed, it seemed finding John’s ring was a long shot. But we agreed to meet and at least rule out the yard areas where he had worked. As John led me through his activities on location, he mentioned having cleaned out a bird bath in the garden, that he had used a garden hose and shook the water off his hand. I made a mental note to check that area thoroughly. My hunch paid off.

The ring announced its presence to my XP Deus Detector as I investigated the bushes near the birdbath. It lay buried out of sight beneath its greenery. The long shot paid off. And the smile on John’s face tells the rest of the story.

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