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Stranger finds and returns woman's heirloom engagement ring in Brewer

Bill McDougall had seen a woman's Craiglist notice about a lost engagement ring, so he decided to take out his metal detector to help with the search -- and quite literally struck gold.
Credit: Brewer Police Department

BREWER, Maine — A missing family heirloom, a man with a metal detector, and a heartwarming ending in Brewer.

The story began earlier in the year in January when Maine was still covered in snow. A woman named Tammy from the Brewer area stopped by the Brewer Police Department and was visibly upset.

Police say Tammy explained to the department's receptionist that she had lost her mother's engagement ring and her wedding band -- both had been fused together by a jeweler. 

Tammy was upset about losing the family heirloom and said she thought it could be in any of five different locations in the Brewer and Bangor area.

Tammy had designed business cards with descriptions of the lost rings and gave them out to places she had visited. She even put up a notice up on Craiglist, hoping that someone would return the ring after seeing her advertisement.

On Tuesday, April 30, a man by the name of Bill McDougall visited the Brewer Police Department, saying he had discovered a very distinctive ring in the Hannaford parking lot on Wilson Street.

McDougall had seen Tammy's Craiglist notice earlier in the year, so when the snow melted, he decided to take out his metal detector and go on an expedition to try to find the beloved heirloom.

During his search, McDougall quite literally struck gold. As it turns out, he has quite the background in this type of mission, as a land and shallow water search member of "The Ring Finders".

By the time McDougall found the ring, Tammy's Craigslist advertisement was no longer running, resulting in his visit to the police department. The receptionist who had spoken with Tammy recognized McDougall's description of the ring and immediately knew who its owner was.

The Brewer Police Department wrote in a Facebook post that the look on Tammy's face was "priceless" when she was reunited with the long lost ring.