Mother’s Day festivities morph into real-life treasure hunt

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Mrs. Erica Oakhill shows photos of her found ring to Ms. Melissa Cox, Performing Arts Teacher.

KeTaira Phillips, Creative Media Editor

When most people decide to travel to the beach, most expect to have a fun and relaxing time basking in the sunlight and splashing in the waves.

These expectations were all in place for Mrs. Erica Oakhill, the Elementary Instructional Technology Specialist at AHN, and her husband, Mr. Kyle Oakhill.  When they ventured to Clearwater Beach to celebrate Mother’s Day with beautiful weather and a football to throw around, nothing could possibly go wrong…or so they thought.

While playing around in the water, Mr. Oakhill came to a grim realization.  His wedding ring had fallen off his hand, and he did not know where it could have landed.

Immediately, Mr. and Mrs. Oakhill began searching the surrounding area. “We searched for two hours, but the waves were really bad, and it was high tide.”

Deciding to postpone the search for the day, the couple returned to their condo. However, the ring continuously plagued their minds. Mrs. Oakfield began to search online to see if anyone could have possibly found the ring. “I came across this newspaper article and had hope that there was a good person out there that was going to find is wedding band. I decided to post to Craigslist and Lostmystuff.net

The next morning, the couple returned to the beach to continue their search. With the help of two metal detectorists, they searched throughout low tide until sunset. Unfortunately, the ring remained missing despite their efforts.

Mrs. Oakhill thanked the two volunteers and tried to compensate for their time. “They wanted nothing in return for their time and effort. They wouldn’t even take a meal on us for their help.”

Even though the chances of finding the ring seemed diminished, Mrs. Oakhill tried to remain hopeful. “I kept on praying to St. Anthony and to family in heaven, but it still couldn’t be found.”

Returning home from their excavation, Mrs. Oakhill was exasperated upon checking her e-mail. She received five e-mails from people who were willing to assist in the search the next morning. “It was like a treasure hunt for them. They were excited to try and find it”

The day after the “treasure hunt,” Mrs. Oakhill received the call she had been waiting for. A man, named Chris, found the ring exactly where the couple had been playing, buried under four inches of sand. “He had the ring all nice and polished when I met him this evening to get the ring.”

Mrs. Oakhill’s story is a reminder of how social media and good online research pays off, even for a lost wedding ring that has found its way home to a very happy couple.