Class ring lost in Arkansas lake found six years later
UPI News Service, 10/13/2020
A woman whose high school class ring was lost in an Arkansas lake was reunited with the item after it was found by a man with a metal detector six years later.
Sierra Welter said she moved to Arkansas shortly after graduating from Oak Harbor High School in Washington state in 2010 and she lost her class ring while swimming with friends in Lake Dardanelle in 2014.
"I freaked out," Welter told KING-TV. "I actually bawled my eyes out over it that night."
Welter feared the ring was gone for good, but six years later Tom Williamson was searching Lake Dardanelle with his metal detector when he discovered a ring.
"The biggest thing I ever found before was a set of gold teeth," Williamson said. "I've always wanted to find a class ring that I could return to the owner. It was on my bucket list. You can miss them by two inches and the metal detector won't pick it up. Luckily, I went across that one."
Williamson mailed the ring to the Oak Harbor School District, where employees Tonya Mays and April Williamson-Stachause took up the search. The ring was cleaned, revealing the name "Sierra" engraved with no last name.
The women did some detective work and determined the ring likely belonged to Welter, who they contacted on Facebook.
Welter said the ring represents more to her than just high school memories -- it was a gift from her mother, who has since died.
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"The ring is one of the few things that I have left of her," Welter said. "It means a lot to me."
She said she was touched to find out that people had put effort into returning the ring to her.
"I'm just in awe. I'm so grateful that somebody took the time to research where it even came from in the first place to return it back," she said. "It's definitely a precious reminder of my mom."
The school district applauded the efforts of Mays and Williamson-Stachause in a "shout out" on the district's Facebook page.
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