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.