Engagement ring accidentally donated to Goodwill

by: Carl Willis Updated:

Josh Miller and his girlfriend, Cara Epstein's, dream of getting married hit a snag earlier this week when he discovered her engagement ring was missing.

A Buckhead couple suffered a heartbreaking loss and a setback in their plans to start the rest of their lives together.

Josh Miller, 31, said he and his girlfriend's dreams of getting married hit a snag earlier this week when he discovered her engagement ring was missing.

"She talked about the exact right (ring) that she wanted for a long time and we just finally, for once, found the perfect engagement ring and we were very excited," Miller said.

That excitement quickly turned into the sick feeling of helplessness.

"I was just shaking," Miller said. "I didn't know what to do, or what to say, or how to feel. I called Cara immediately, but she thought I was joking."

Miller had been hiding the ring away for two months.

He said it was tucked away in a pocket inside of a winter coat.


"The coat just happened to be one of the things I picked out of the closet and set in a pile to go to Goodwill," he said.

The coat was donated Monday, and Miller said the folks at Goodwill told him it was likely set out on the floor that same day or possibly Tuesday morning.

"Honestly, I just think I forgot," he said. "I knew it was in my closet somewhere, but we were just grabbing stuff and I threw it in a pile and thought, 'I don't wear that anymore.'"

It wasn't until Wednesday that Miller said he realized what had happened.

By then, the coat was nowhere to be found at the Goodwill center on Roswell Road in Buckhead.

"That ring means more to me than anything I can explain," he said.

Miller described the coat in hopes that someone might identify the ring and return it.

"It was still in the Helzburg box and it was inside a coat pocket on left side of the coat," he said. "It is a black ski jacket with gray stripes."

The ring is a square princess-cut solitaire with smaller diamonds surrounding it. The setting is white gold.

Even though that ring means the world to Miller and his fiancee, Cara Epstein, they said they're not going to postpone their plans.

"It's a setback, but we'll move forward," Epstein said. "I'm trying to be positive."

Miller said he still plans to fly back home to Akron, Ohio, and ask Cara's father for her hand in marriage.

He just hopes he has something to put on her finger once he gets the blessing.

"She's a school teacher and I'm a landscaper," he said. "We obviously don't make enough money to afford something like that on a regular basis. It was a very large purchase for us, and I just made a very bad mistake."

The ring was not insured. The couple is just hoping someone will find it and come forward.

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