New Hampshire

Strangers Return Libertyville Woman's Wedding Ring Found on Dirt Path

A Grayslake father and his daughter have great eyes but even better hearts and they made sure there was a happy ending for a woman searching for something irreplaceable.

The beautiful ring is now back where it belongs, on the finger of Lane Gillenwater, who feared the family heirloom might be gone forever.

"I think I was in shock," she told NBC 5.

Gillenwater was jogging at Independence Grove Forest Preserve in Libertyville with her husband when the ring slipped off of the necklace she thought would keep it safe.

"(I) unzip my fleece, reached for the necklace where I normally keep it and it just wasn’t there," she said.

The Gillenwaters searched for two hours until dark--but the ring had already been found.

"It stood out, it was a silver ring on a dirt path," said MAdison Van Vleet, who found the ring. "I ran past it before I realized what it was and I said 'Dad wait!'"

Madison and her father Terry made the discovery as they were running on the path.

"We knew someone was having a terrible day we talked about how we could find the person and get it back to them," Terry said.

From there the chain of kindness continued, they went back to the park the next day and found a ranger, who used a serial number inside the ring to trace it to a local jeweler who traced it to the store in New Hampshire where Gillenwater’s husband purchased it.

About 24 hours after it disappeared the ranger was able to return her ring.

"Seeing him, knowing it was over, and all these wonderful people did this for me--it was a lot of emotion," she said.

She was able to thank everyone who helped her find the wedding ring. She no longer runs using the necklace to hold her ring.

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