BRANFORD, Conn. - A Massachusetts woman thought her wedding rings were gone forever after losing them at a Connecticut gas station -- But one state trooper was determined to get the rings back where they belonged.
On the night of Feb. 17, Kim and Peter Reggiannini stopped at a gas station off I-95 in Branford, Connecticut. Kim Reggiannini told WFSB-TV she removed her rings and put them in her lap to apply lotion to her hands.
The rings fell from her lap without her noticing. It wasn’t until about an hour and a half later when she realized they were missing.
The couple immediately returned to the rest stop to look through the snow for the rings, but it was too late -- the rings were nowhere to be found.
"Every time I would look down and see that the rings weren't there, it was just a reminder of what had happened," Kim Regiannini told KABC-TV.
The couple continued searching for the rings, calling local police stations and pawn shops, reaching out to local news outlets and posting on social media.
“After the first week, I was like, 'They’re gone. No way we’re going to see them again,'” Peter Reggiannini said.
But all hope wasn’t lost. Connecticut State Police Sgt. Robert Derry saw news coverage of the Reggianninis’ story and was moved to help. He decided to pore through the gas station’s surveillance camera footage.
Derry told WVIT-TV he “couldn’t believe” when he saw what appeared to be someone picking up the rings from the snow. He then used the person’s license plate number to identify them and track them down.
“The rings are so beautiful, they thought it was costume jewelry. That’s what they told me on the phone,” Derry said. “They didn’t believe they were real, so they held onto them, didn’t know what to do with them.”
Derry retrieved the rings from the person who found them and called the Reggianninis, who were in disbelief.
The couple returned Wednesday to Connecticut, and Derry returned the rings.
“Having them back, I feel so lucky. I’m the one who lost them. You know, I was beating myself up about when they fell off my lap at the rest stop and to get them back seems almost too good to be true,” said Kim Reggiannini, adding that she’ll never again remove the rings to apply lotion.
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