A Mansfield, Texas, woman found a wedding ring on a South Florida beach 1,300 miles from home and returned it to its owner: A Dallas man she had never met who happened to lose it months earlier on that same beach.
Chris Ramirez, a barber who just opened a new shop in Deep Ellum, went to Fort Lauderdale for a family vacation in June. Worried he'd lose his wedding ring in the water, he put it in the side of a bag for safekeeping.
It didn't work.
“It was gone,” Ramirez said Monday. “I looked all over the place."
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Desperate, he reached out to the closest hotel and reported it missing.
"I thought it was definitely a long shot,” he said. “I knew I lost it at the beach and I thought there's no way that this is going to come up. There's just no way."
That's exactly what Latosha Duffey said. Duffey and her family happened to be staying at the same resort when her mother noticed something shiny.
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"I was like, 'No way!'” Duffey said when her mother found the ring and vowed to find the owner.
"I was walking along the beach and I was looking down and I saw a gold ring in the sand,” Charlotte Duffey said.
The golden piece was Ramirez's wedding ring.
"I brought the wedding ring back home and I called the hotel,” she said.
The younger Duffey said she never thought they would find the owner.
"I was like, this is one in a trillion that you'll find whose ring this is,” Latosha Duffey said.
Sure enough, the hotel connected the two.
"What are the odds? This is my lucky day,” Ramirez said.
Charlotte Duffey said she wanted to do the right thing.
"I was just excited and happy that I was able to return the ring,” she said.
Two North Texas families, strangers on a beach so far from home, met in the longest of long shots.
"Small world indeed,” Charlotte Duffey said.
Ramirez said he’s grateful for the Mansfield family’s honesty.
"The biggest lesson, outside of losing your ring and don't lose it, is knowing there's still good people out there,” he said. “They're willing to pay it forward and help each other."