Lost Wedding Ring in Baltimore, Maryland…Found Metal Detecting on Sports Field
June 30, 2019
Felipe’s 14 Karat Gold Wedding Ring
I connected with a guy named Felipe who lost his wedding ring on a Baltimore, Maryland sports field that is utilized as a kickball field and dog park.
He lost the keepsake while playing an adult game of kickball. He was on a league team that was playing against another league team. He believed that during the game the ring must have slipped off his finger because he had remembered seeing it on his finger prior to the game and even during the game at some point. The question for him was, “Where did it end up?”
When he realized that he had lost the ring, he gathered up his teammates and even acquired the help of the other team’s members to join in the search. There must have been 20 people or more searching for his missing gold wedding band! After everybody finished searching, there still was no recovery of the ring.
The loss of the ring took place a week before I corresponded with Felipe who was desperate at that point to find the wedding band. He texted me and said, “I really appreciate your help. I cannot meet up with you on the field for the next few days, but I sent you a map of the general location of where the ring may have come off. I also tried with a metal detector with no luck.”
I assured him that if someone had not picked up the ring off of the sports field since the time of its disappearance, I would recover it for him with no questions asked. I was that confident. But come to find out, it would not be so easy to find the ring!
I responded by saying, “I can get out there tonight. Let me know what time the park closes…”
Felipe responded, “Sounds great to me….really, I married my wife not a ring…so it’s just sentimental. If you find it.. it would be awesome!”
Felipe sent me a Google Earth photo of the field and he marked two most likely areas where he thought the ring might have fallen off.
He also texted me some additional clues: “I was behind first base receiving a foul ball….5 feet away from the trees. I also dove and threw someone out running home….leaping from pitcher’s mound to home plate direction”. This was some good information for me to process when I got out on the field later that night.
That evening, I drove to downtown Baltimore City to the specified park where the ring was lost. It was still daylight but the sun would be setting quite soon. Once I got to the correct field, I studied the map that he provided for me and I got my bearing straight as to where he might have been in the grass when he lost the ring. I searched everywhere. Along the tree line, within the tree section, all over the field where he was playing kickball, the sidelines, and even in the areas where he walked to go use the bathroom. I searched between trees and all kinds of brush. I thought it was a good sign when I found a handful of keys on an old key ring that must have been lost during a past game. However, there was no sign of the ring anywhere. Soon, I was wearing my headlamp and doing a second grid search after I had finished initially going north to south and east to west already. Still, there was absolutely nothing found. After 4 hours I finally had to call it quits for the night. And because the park was over an hour away from my local area in Maryland, I had resolved that I did all that I could and it would be too difficult for me to return to the search site again since I thought I did what I could in all that time.
If there was any time that I felt self-defeated it was after this search that I conducted. I had promised Felipe that I would find the ring if it was still out there and I just did not know if it was or not after I finished the search. But I gave it four hours and turned up nothing. I thought that maybe somebody may have seen it on the path that was adjacent to the play field and took off with it sometime following the game. But how could anyone know unless it was turned in?
I called Felipe and left a voicemail message requesting for him to call me. In addition to that, I texted him and said, “I am so sorry that I didn’t find your wedding ring. My search was extensive and careful. It’s possible that it might be in the tree line area even though I did check it. But I did not check all of the spots since I had so much of the field to grid, as well.”
Felipe responded, “Thank you so much Brian! We will definitely go back and look more in the area where the trees are. A million thanks man…..and I will absolutely let you know if we magically find it. I, and we appreciate it so much. Thank you”.
I thanked him, as well for giving me the opportunity to try to find the ring, and I just felt terrible that I could not pull the special keepsake from the field. However, something just did not set right with me when I had to call off any future searches because of the factors I mentioned above.
Another week had passed since my initial search, and I just could not shake the thoughts about not finding the ring. I wondered if Felipe found it out in the field or if it might have been picked up by someone, or that it may have still been left out there untouched and unfound. I decided to text him and see what the status was regarding the ring.
I said, “Hey there. Just checking to see if you guys found the ring yet. I will be in North Baltimore this evening and if I find the missing ring for this other person, I could shoot out down to the park if you would like me to if you haven’t found it already. Let me know. I can check the woods a bit more thorough.”
He responded, “I still haven’t had any luck….and still working late hours.”
I said, “Would you like me to give it another shot? I can check those woods out much more carefully.”
He replied, “That would be amazing…”
I told him that I decided that I would return one more time to see if I could pull the ring from the field if it was still there. I explained to him that I just did not feel quite right about giving up even though I thought I gave it all I had. He really appreciated my willingness to return and he said that he could meet me out there with his wife to help in the search and perhaps guide me a bit more in terms of where the bases were and where he was in the outfield.
I said, “If you feel pretty sure that that ring is still out there, I will find it,”
We planned to meet that evening around 6:30pm out on the field in Baltimore. Felipe and Anne were already there on the field when I arrived. We greeted one another and then reviewed all of the possibilities once again as to where the ring could have ended up.
I told the two of them that I am a man of prayer and that God does do mysterious things for us when we least expect it. Even regarding things like rings being found when they’ve gone missing. Anne said that after I suggested that they join hands and pray as a couple over the situation with the missing ring, they in fact prayed for the first time together that the ring would be found. She said that that was very new for them to do. I smiled with excitement and encouraged them and then we started searching the field.
I did most of the searching around the wooded areas at first. They took to the kickball field parameters and eventually I ended up searching in places that covered the field where Felipe played. He showed me the approximate locations where the bases were set up. I metal detected a new grid all over the areas then I searched a week prior. But this time I went farther out into sections that extended outside the boundaries of where the game was played. I detected every type of metal in places leading to where Felipe had walked away from the field to use the bathroom and I went into the woods to retrace every step that he took on that day when he lost the ring.
It was inspiring to see husband and wife searching everywhere to claim back Felipe’s wedding band. I will never forget his words that he shared in front of his wife recounting what he said to her back at their house after the ring went missing and they couldn’t find it anywhere. He said something like, “If I can’t get the ring back, I still have the most important part of my life anyways”. That really touched me hearing him say that and his wife Anne gave a huge smile towards her husband and big love embrace!
We looked hard for a couple of hours before it was time for the couple to leave the park. They gave up for the time being because they had to attend to something else. They said their goodbyes to me and thanked me for trying again. I was highly optimistic and motivated to keep searching and expressed much hope to them that it could still be out in the field. I think I may have prayed with them that God would help me find the ring. I explained to them at some point that God loves the covenant of marriage. The wedding band and engagement ring are symbols of that covenant love and commitment. That’s why I ask for divine favor from above when I’m out there looking for rings. Unfortunately, sometimes, circumstances present themselves in such a way that there is no possible way for me to get the ring back, (for instance, if it was picked up and taking away by somebody already), and in the end, I know I did all that I could do.
Felipe and Anne took off and I continued my search. Evening fell to complete darkness outside. The happy yellow lights shining from the fireflies reminded me that I was not alone out on the green grass. Occasionally, someone walking their dog would come by and it was nice to know that there was still activity going on around me.
I pressed on for about another hour and a half and I gridded the entire kickball field once again and searched farther outside the imaginary base lines, hoping that something would turn up. There was nothing at home plate, and nothing around first and second base. My last area to grid out was approximately 10 yards outside of the third base area. Back and forth I went, yet nothing turned up. I was getting all kinds of signals and I was checking everything on the ground that appeared to be close to the surface, if not on top of the surface. But every time, it was a pull tab or a coin left behind by someone playing on the field. Then, I hit a signal that gave a nice loud sound in the detector and I looked at the screen and the target appeared to be on the surface. The numbers that appeared were right in the range of what a man’s gold wedding band would show up as! I started to kneel down with my handheld pinpointer to investigate the target, and there in between pieces of grass, I saw Felipe’s beloved wedding band! The yellow gold was calling out for me to pick him up and bring him home! I was so elated! I found the ring! Yes, I found the ring! I could not have been more happy at that moment! My decision to return back to Baltimore and drive all of that way and spend all those hours out on that field, even into the late hours of the night, completely reaped the results that I was looking for! I was feeling just like a little kid who had just found the buried treasure that was lost in the thicket of the grass and I just fell completely to the ground and rolled around in utter excitement! I couldn’t wait to share with the couple that our prayers were answered!
There were some people walking by who saw how thrilled I was at whatever it was that I found and so I got to share my discovery with them! They too were so happy for what Felipe and his wife and for the good news that they were about to hear and what they were about to receive back!
I packed up my gear after saying goodbye to that group of people and headed for the car. I was smiling from ear-to-ear all of the way back to my parking space about a quarter of a mile away! When you search for so long and nothing becomes of it, and then you determine that you’re going to return after time has passed and you start all over again, wondering if it will lead to anything positive, and then you “hit gold”, there are no words to describe the awesome feeling!
I wanted to surprise Felipe with the news so I called him and left a voicemail message when he didn’t pick up. Then, I texted him and shared, “I left a Vmail. Left the field. Bugs eating me alive even with spray. Call to debrief. I did all I could do.”
When I said that I did all that I could, I was not dishonest in the least! I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to connect with them but I was certain that they would get back to me sometime in the next day. Well, I didn’t have to wait that long to break the news because just as I arrived at a Royal Farms convenience store up the street from the park to grab a drink and a snack for my hour and fifteen minute drive home, Felipe called me back!
These are the moments that I love the most when I get to reveal the wonderful news! Sharing that the priceless keepsake had been found and that it will once again be returned to the hand that once wore it, is the most exhilarating experience!
Felipe had read my text and was not thinking in the least that I had found the ring! But after I played with him for a moment or two, he got the best surprise of his life! In less than 30 minutes, Felipe and his wife were pulling into the convenience store parking lot with a bottle of champagne in hand to celebrate the precious moment when Felipe would be reunited with his very handsome wedding band that was presented to him by his wife Anne only a short time ago! I will never forget that evening when we all partied in the parking lot as we celebrated such a fantastic moment for Felipe! Anne shed such special tears of happiness as the reality of the situation sunk through her being! I was so honored to be called upon to help return what was once lost!
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