Good Samaritan finds wedding ring lost for years
GRUNDY COOUNTY, TN (WRCB) - A good Samaritan story out of Grundy County proves a diamond really is forever. The story begins on a local baseball field.
Two years after losing her diamond wedding ring, Shalonda Braden thought it was gone forever, until a few days ago, when she got an unexpected call. Braden is an avid softball player. She was practicing at the Gruetli-Laager Recreation Park in Grundy County two years ago. She put her then 17-year-old wedding ring in her ball bag sitting in left field for safe keeping. But when she went to leave, it was nowhere to be found.
"I was sick. It did, it made me sick and upset with myself," Shalonda Braden said.
Devastated, Shalonda Braden spent weeks searching the baseball diamond for her diamond with a metal detector, but eventually gave up. Now fast forward two years and along walks Tina Cooper.
"Walking through and I'm constantly kicking gravel doing this for whatever reason and I got about this far and turned around because I realized something was laying here," Tina Cooper said.
There it was--- Shalonda's near one carat diamond wedding ring peeking through.
"At the time, I thought well it's fake," Tina said.
Tina's husband manages the ball field now, but didn't two years ago, so they didn't know Shalonda lost it.
"We decided he's going to take it the pawn shop to see if it's real. It was real! So that kind of started the search," Tina said.
In a town this small, the search didn't take long. She told her sister who instantly remembered it was Shalonda's, who is coincidentally, a woman Tina's known since high school.
"I said you probably want to sit down. I said, I found your ring," Tina said.
"I was stunned and shocked. I just still couldn't believe they found it," Shalonda said.
The most shocking part was what all it's survived in two years. The field serves as a baseball field in the spring and summer, then is transformed to a football field in the fall.
"Dragging, cutting, deeper and deeper to get all the grass roots so it's been through a quite a bit in that length of time," Tina said.
"They were as excited to give it to me as I was to get it," Shalonda said.
Tina says she never even considered taking the money the pawn shop offered.
"That's something sentimental. I would've wanted somebody to try to find me," Tina said.
"There's some great people here in Grundy County," Shalonda said.
Shalonda says Tina and her husband refused to take any money she offered as a thank you.
The women think it probably got thrown to the gravel in the process of the transferring dirt from one field to another. The ring's band was pretty beat up, but the diamond just needed a little polishing.