A woman whose gold wedding band went missing nearly 50 years ago has been reunited with it thanks to a local historian.
“Karen Autenrieth and her husband Robert, surrounded by their children and grandchildren on Valentine’s Day, opened the package holding the long lost ring,” CNN reported.
The story began during the winter of 1973 when Karen lost the band outside her grandmother’s home in Chicago.
“It was very cold and the snow plows had plowed the snow up onto the curbs,” she recalled.
“I had parked my car in front of my grandmother’s house and I was climbing over mounds of snow, helping each kid get into the car. My hands were cold — I didn’t have mittens on — and my ring just flew into the snow,” Karen said.
Despite an exhaustive search, she was unable to find the band with “RA to K.B. 4-16-66” engraved inside it commemorating their wedding day.
However, when a Chicago man lost his own wedding ring and posted about it on Facebook, Sarah Batka, who lives in Autenrieth’s grandparents’ former home, said she found a ring years ago while gardening.
It was not his ring but thus began the hunt for its rightful owner.
“After being tagged in the post, two historians — Carol Flynn and Linda Lamberty — set off to solve the mystery. The historians work at the Ridge Historical Society, which is dedicated to ‘preserving and interpreting’ the history of Chicago neighborhoods,” the CNN report said.
The society’s historians used numerous resources “And we found the likely owner of the ring. She was the granddaughter of the couple who had lived in the house at one time. She now lives in San Antonio, Texas,” Flynn wrote in a Facebook post:
The Ridge Historical SocietyJust a little research project …. the kind we love. By Carol FlynnAn unfortunate…
She sent a message to Autenrieth, who confirmed the ring belonged to her and the historian later mailed it to the couple, who opened it on Valentine’s Day.