Facebook leads to Mikey Waters and newlywed's lost wedding ring
Photo by Christy Aumer
Newlyweds Jasmine and Diemes Reis enjoyed the Fourth of July soaking up the sun on State Beach with a quick stop for fresh hamburgers from Fat Ronnie's. The Oak Bluffs residents returned home happier than clams until they made a startling discovery.
"My ring was missing," Jasmine Reis told The Times.
She last saw the gold-band, diamond ring on her left hand before she put it inside a beach bag on State Beach. Jasmine said she normally never goes to the beach with her wedding ring, but that Thursday she worked a full shift at Stop & Shop in Vineyard Haven and went straight to the beach.
She forgot to leave her ring in the car. On the beach, Diemes suggested she put it on her key ring, but she laughed at the idea. "No, it will get scratched," she told him.
She thought the best place for it would be inside a beach bag. Around 6:30 pm, they left State Beach before the Fourth of July crowd took over the sand. The early departure gave them enough time to stop at Fat Ronnie's.
"When we got home, my husband asked, 'where is your ring?'" Jasmine said.
Frantic, the couple, married last September, began to double-check pockets and bags, including the beach bag. But it was nowhere in sight. They drove back to State Beach and searched for the diamond ring.
"This is where I took out the hat, this is where I took out the tee-shirt," Jasmine's husband told her as they searched the beach. But the ring remained missing.
Jasmine asked people nearby if they recognized her, and if they had seen her wedding ring.
"People thought I was crazy," Jasmine said with a smile as she recounted her story. The couple returned home empty-handed Thursday night, but they didn't call it quits.
"When I first lost it, I was so frantic because this is something I would want to pass down to my children," Jasmine said. "Diemes said he would just buy me a bigger one, but it's not something you can replace."
Jasmine contacted the Oak Bluffs and Edgartown police departments to ask if anyone had turned in her wedding ring. She also turned to social media with hopes someone, somewhere could help her. She posted a picture of her diamond wedding ring to a Facebook group called "MV Stuff 4 Sale."
The post received dozens of comments and people seemed to want to help, she said.
"I wasn't expecting it to take off like it did," she said.
One of those who offered to help was Michael "Mikey" Waters of Edgartown. He offered to use his metal detector to look for the ring.
Jasmine and Mr. Waters aren't "friends" on Facebook and don't personally know each other. Jasmine said Mr. Waters's wife, Ashley, is friends with her aunt Sara Guice, but other than that, the two were only connected through a cry for help over a social media Web site.
Jasmine gave Mr. Waters "bits and pieces" of information, including the general area where she and Diemes had been sitting. Mr. Waters used the information to map out a grid. He began his search that Saturday evening.
Jasmine said by this time she had given up. In the intervening days she had returned to the beach three separate times to look for her cherished wedding ring. "I even went out there with a metal detector," she said. "And I didn't find it."
However, Mr. Waters doesn't own an average metal detector. Mr. Waters uses a top of the line White metal detector with land and underwater abilities.
"We waited until after dinner time [Saturday] so the beach would clear out, and me and my wife and two kids got a pizza, sat down on the beach, had dinner and from there started to do a grid search pattern," Mr. Waters told The Times. "Sure enough, it turned up."
The search, covering a zigzag pattern, took about 30 to 45 minutes. "What took the longest was digging up bottle caps and aluminum pieces from cook outs, old rusty fish hooks. Knick-knacks," he said.
Each time the metal detector emitted a tone, he dug. "I'd cross over them with the machine and got the tone, and started scooping," Mr. Waters said. "Another bottle cap, it was 20 to 30 of them so far. Dead pieces."
When he found the ring he whistled to his wife and said, "Looks like it!"
Mr. Waters said he securely put the ring in his pocket, and drove home to compare the ring to the picture Jasmine had posted on Facebook.
"Looked identical to me," Mr. Waters said.
That Sunday, Jasmine met Mr. Waters at his home in Edgartown.
"He unwrapped the ring from a Stop & Shop receipt," Jasmine said with a laugh. She was so happy that she hugged him.
"Nothing I could give him in return would be comparable to what he did for me," Jasmine said.
She said she gave Mr. Waters a Stop & Shop gift card because "everyone needs groceries," but he didn't want anything in return.
"It's just the type of person he is," she said.