Lost and found: Husband grateful to get 51-year-old wedding band back

Tom Evans' story has happy ending
Posted at 5:44 PM, Jul 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-15 18:30:20-04

GREEN TOWNSHIP, Ohio – After nearly three months, Tom Evans' half-century-old wedding band is back where it belongs.

It took persistence by the woman who found it and help from police and the county clerk's office, but Evans got his lost ring back Friday - less than 24 hours after WCPO reported about it.

"I'm thankful to God for making it all happen," he said. 

Evans told WCPO he doesn't remember losing the ring, only that suddenly it was no longer on his finger. It turned up in April on the floor of the Sam's Club on North Bend Road, where Evans buys dog food.

As WCPO reported Thursday, another shopper, Nancy O'Toole, spotted it and picked it up.

"I couldn't believe it. I wanted to find the owner," O'Toole said.

She held on to the ring and called the store occasionally to find out if anyone had been asking about it. No one had. So she took the ring to Green Township police on Thursday.

The ring was inscribed with the names Tom and Barb, the date and the words "Together Forever." 

Lt. Mitch Hill and Det. Mike Lampe got right on it.

"He immediately thought, 'Let's check the probate records,'" Hill said.

They called Melissa Pearse, deputy clerk of Hamilton County Probate Court. Pearse supervises the file room, records room and the marriage license department.

Even though Pearse's office had computerized their old records back to 1965, it took more than a single mouse click. It took some digital shoe leather.

"The volumes we had to look through … the bride and grooms' names are indexed separately," Pearse said. "Every Tom or Thomas, or Barb or Barbara, we wrote down each page number."

Until they matched both names with the date on the ring, March 29, 1965.

Meanwhile, a friend told Tom and Barb about the report on WCPO Thursday that the ring had been found.

When they showed up at the police department, Hill already knew they were the rightful owners.

"It's a very good feeling," Hill said.

The couple got the ring and a new copy of their marriage license thanks to O'Toole.

Evans can't wait to meet her.

"We're going to see her face to face and I'm going to give her a kiss and I'm going to say, 'Thank you and I love you,'" Evans said.