Class ring takes roundabout path back to owner after more than 20 years missing

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by JIM DOUGLAS

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaajdouglas

WFAA

Posted on January 17, 2014 at 7:04 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 17 at 7:09 PM

ARLINGTON -- "They asked me if I went to Boswell High School, and I said yes."

Shelly Ragland said the strange call from police came out of the blue; a blue stone set in a ring long forgotten.

“They asked if I lost my class ring, and I said yes," she said.

Ragland went to Boswell High in Fort Worth nearly 30 years ago. She lost her class ring at her son's birthday party more than 20 years ago.

"A few months later, a lady had found it and had contacted me," she said Friday.

But it was a chaotic time in Shelly Ragland’s life, and she lost the contact information. Decades passed.

Then, just last month, the ring reappeared on Lancaster Avenue in east Fort Worth. Police stopped two suspected burglars wanted for several Arlington break-ins. Detectives say the suspects had the class ring, and lots of other stolen jewelry.

"However, they were drug dependent," said Arlington detective Eddie Green. "They couldn't advise what houses they stole from.”

Investigators naturally figured the name inscribed in the ring must be one of the burglary victims. Unfortunately, it was Ragland's maiden name, Shelly Rhodes.

Dead end? Not yet.

"It's pretty crazy," Ragland said, putting it mildly.

Detectives searching through burglary reports found a Fort Worth police incident filed about a year ago by a woman named Shelly Ragland.

Bingo. Right Shelly, but wrong burglary.

By yet another odd coincidence, her name was in the system because she had been the victim of an unrelated vehicle break-in.

So now Arlington police hope to hear from that would be Good Samaritan who found the Boswell ring 22 years ago. Apparently, she held onto it all those years only to have it stolen -- perhaps with a lot of her own jewelry.

"I'm just glad to have my ring back," Shelly Ragland smiled Friday as she was reunited with her class ring at Arlington police headquarters.

A ring lost, found, stolen, found again. And still, a mystery not quite come full circle.

E-mail jdouglas@wfaa.com

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