Wedding ring lost 50 years ago found and returned for Valentine's Day

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Monday, February 15, 2021
Lost wedding ring found, returned 50 years later
A wedding band lost nearly 50 years ago found its way home this Valentine's Day.

SAN ANTONIO, TX -- A wedding band lost nearly 50 years ago found its way home this Valentine's Day.

Robert and Karen Autenrieth got married on April 16, 1966. Not long after that, the couple was living in Chicago when Karen lost her ring.

"We were climbing through the snow drifts, and I was helping the three kids get into the car," she recalled in an interview with KSAT. "At some point in time, the hand went (this way) and the ring went into the snow bank."

She searched frantically, even long after the snow melted away, but the ring was nowhere to be found.

"I resigned myself that it was gone," she said. "I'd never see it again."

SEE ALSO: 'There's still good people out there': Woman returns lost diamond ring, refuses reward

A complete stranger returned a lost diamond ring and refused to accept a reward for doing so.

A couple weeks ago, a totally unrelated man lost his wedding ring in the snow in Chicago. He took to Facebook in hopes that someone had found it.

That did not work out for him. However, a neighbor did comment that she'd found a wedding band some 6-8 years ago while gardening at her home.

At the time, she failed to find its owner. All she had to go on was the engraving inside: "R.A. to K.B. 4.16.66"

At this point, Ridge Historical Society in Chicago took up the case. The group scoured public records and mined newspaper archives in search of something to connect to the ring.

An article from 1955 linked an A.H. Witt to the address where the ring was found. More digging uncovered that Witt had a daughter named Claire Berk and she had a daughter named Karen. Karen Berk. K.B.

Was that the answer?

SEE ALSO: Jeweler loses 40-year-old engagement ring, wedding band during routine inspection

Flynn found Karen Berk on Facebook and sent her a message.

"If she sees this message at all, she's going to think, 'Who is this lunatic writing a message at 2:30 in the morning about some ring that was found?'" Flynn joked.

But that joke was nearly true. Karen said she saw the message and nearly deleted it because she didn't know anybody named Carol Flynn.

Fortunately she opened the message.

"I thought, 'My God, 55 years, and we're getting my ring back," Karen said with tears filling her eyes.

Flynn had the ring delivered just in time for Valentine's Day. It arrived and Karen's eye lit up, her hand trembled as her husband slid that gold band back on her finger where it belonged.

"This was meant to happen," Flynn said. "That ring wanted to get back to Karen."