An Iowa sheriff left no stone unturned in his relentless effort to reunite a unique custom ring with its rightful owner.
On Super Bowl Sunday, Good Samaritan Angela Allen was shocked to find the valuable bauble lying on the ground in the parking lot of a gas station in Slater, a small town about 20 miles north of Des Moines.
”When I got out of my car, I looked down and it happened to be by my feet," Allen told the CBS affiliate, Local 4 News. “It wasn't just a ring you'd go buy in the store. You could tell it was unique and it was created for somebody.”
Recognizing both the tangible and sentimental value of the ring, she turned it over to the Story County Sheriff, Aaron Kester.
The unusual ring, which features two large diamonds and a rim of graduated smaller ones punctuated by a single amethyst, had been the prized possession of Sharon Soder. The largest of the graduated stones was from her mother's wedding ring and all the others held special meaning.
"There's no other ring like it," she said.
Soder had no idea where she lost the ring. She and her husband tore through her home, checking the laundry, under the beds, everywhere.
Meanwhile, Sheriff Kester was on a mission to solve the mystery.
"There were no maker marks inside, so there really wasn't much to go on,” he said.
The sheriff decided to personally visit every jeweler in the county to see if any of them had designed the ring. When that strategy failed, he widened his net to include every jeweler in Des Moines. Still, no luck.
Then he texted a picture of the ring to a customer jeweler, who confirmed that he has designed it. The jeweler also had documentation revealing the ring's owner.
Three weeks after losing her ring, Soder received an unexpected call from Sheriff Kester.
“I'm like, 'Oh my gosh!’ It was like a miracle,” Soder told Local 4 News.
When Sheriff Kester was asked about his heroic efforts to return the ring to Soder, he attributed them to "Iowa values."
And when Good Samaritan Allen was asked about her motivation to do the right thing instead of keeping the ring for herself, she answered, "That's why I live in Iowa."
Soder is thrilled to have the ring back on her finger. She thanked the sheriff with a heartfelt note and something extra special...
With a wry smile, Kester recounted: "Yeah, I bent our policies and allowed her to give me a hug."
Images: Video captures via ourquadcities.com/Local4News.