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Man searches for late wife's wedding rings

October 22, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A man in Murrieta is searching for his late wife's wedding rings, which he believes were stolen from her as she lay dying. "It's tough, I'm trying to work, do the job of two. The kids are great but they miss their mom, it's tough," said Michael Dale, a widower.

Dale's wife, Danielle, lost her battle with cancer earlier this year, just two weeks prior to what would have been their 10-year wedding anniversary.

"I love her a lot. I miss her. I have to keep myself busy so I don't think about things," said Dale.

But one thing he can't get out of his mind is where her wedding rings are.

He thinks they were stolen right off her finger as she lay in a hospital bed at Inland Valley Medical Center days before she died.

"I don't know. I mean they don't get up, sprout legs and walk away," Dale said.

Dale said he complained to the hospital and filed a police report.

On its website, the hospital said, "The patient is fully responsible for any personal valuables brought into the hospital including jewelry, money glasses, dentures, hearing aids, clothing or other articles of unusual value."

Dale said the hospital has offered him $500 in compensation. He has consulted an attorney, but he said what really matters is getting the rings back.

"I don't care how they come back. Put them in an envelope, send them to the police department or something. I just want them back," he said.

Dale said not a day goes by that he doesn't think about his wife and her rings that she held so dear.

"Those rings, even though they're just material, they're hers. That's what the kids saw her with with all the time, and when they're older they'll want them," said Dale. "They have the right to have them, not the person who took them."

An official from the hospital told Eyewitness News that he feels terrible for the family and that the hospital staff is working with authorities to find out what happened.


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