Stolen wedding ring found nearly decade later by curious 10-year-old
'It’s a happy ending. It’s happy to find something you love forever,' says ring owner Perla MacLeod
Almost a decade after Perla MacLeod's wedding ring was stolen during a Christmas Eve robbery, the Cape Breton councillor was recently reunited with it after the ring was found less than a half-kilometre from her home.
"It's a happy ending," MacLeod told CBC's Maritime Noon. "It's happy to find something you love forever."
MacLeod said she met and married her husband Craig MacLeod about 15 years ago. Though they were young and struggling financially, MacLeod sold his most prized possession, a 1986 Monte Carlo car, to buy her the ring.
That sacrifice is part of what made the ring so special and hard to replace when, during a Christmas Eve snowstorm seven years later, it was stolen from their unlocked van in the middle of the night in Big Baddeck.
When Craig MacLeod offered to buy his wife a replacement, she said it wasn't necessary at that stage in their lives.
"The first one is always the special [one]," she said.
MacLeod said she left the ring in her purse, along with her wedding band, as part of a daily ritual to avoid losing or dirtying them at her job as a barista.
After a string of robberies saw some neighbours lose their Christmas gifts on that fateful night, MacLeod said police held out little hope of recovering anything.
"They investigate and they do the job, but [they said] that that stuff, you never recover it," she said.
The couple tried searching the area the next morning, but say a snowstorm covered any trace of evidence.
Over the years, MacLeod said her husband continued to offer to buy a replacement, but they both put it off because the money never seemed to be there for the family of five. She assumed the original ring would be lost forever.
It wasn't until recently when a community cleanup meant to dispose of litter in nearby ditches and creeks yielded an unexpected find.
Their neighbours, who live roughly a kilometre away, were cleaning an area midway between their homes. That's when 10-year-old Addyson Garland crawled into the ditch and discovered MacLeod's purse in the mud and the wedding ring underneath it.
MacLeod's wallet, along with her husband's vehicle registration, were still inside of the bag, which allowed the Garlands to locate the family.
MacLeod believes the thieves didn't see the wedding ring and threw the purse away when they took the money and the wedding band from it.
A child's special skills
She also thinks her wedding ring would have remained lost forever if it wasn't for the particular inquisitiveness of a 10-year-old girl.
"I believe if another [person] was going to clean, we wouldn't find it," said Perla MacLeod. "I think the girl, the kids, the children, they're more curious to go into the ditch."
MacLeod now locks her doors, keeps her ring nearby all the time and said she isn't planning on leaving it in her purse ever again.
With files from Maritime Noon