The Priceless Find - Wedding Ring Returned to Officers Widow
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Thread: The Priceless Find - Wedding Ring Returned to Officers Widow

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  1. #1

    Jun 2007
    Lebanon, Ohio
    Whites DFX
    8 times
    Honorable Mentions (1)

    The Priceless Find - Wedding Ring Returned to Officer's Widow

    On Tuesday, May 10th, Sergeant Brian Dulle was struck and killed by a suspect's vehicle while deploying stop sticks at the intersection of U.S. 42 and Utica Road in Warren County, Ohio. The pursuit had been initiated by the Franklin City Police Department and traveled through most of Warren County at speeds in excess of 100 mph. The suspect ran one cruiser off the road and into a ditch on U.S. 42 before continuing towards Utica Road. After striking Sergeant Dulle, the suspect fled on foot but was arrested several hours later following a massive manhunt

    Sgt. Dulle, who was 36, is the county's first sheriff deputy ever to be killed in the line of duty. He was a U.S. Army veteran and had been on the Warren County Sheriff’s force for 12 years. He was survived by his wife and three young children, aged four to ten. The oldest is Maddie, who is still recovering from her second bout with cancer. The community’s support for the family and shared grief was unbelievable.

    On Saturday, May 14th, I received a call from Charles Otis of Franklin asking if members of the Dayton Diggers would assist in recovering the wedding ring of Sgt. Dulle which had not yet been found at the accident scene. Mr. Otis, a postal worker, and other deputies had used a number of metal detectors the previous several days with no luck and were planning to bring police dogs to the scene on Sunday to resume the search. I told Mr. Otis I would go out to the scene immediately (which was less than 5 miles from my house) in an attempt to find the ring and notify other club members that evening to organize a search for Sunday.

    I reached the accident scene within a few minutes of receiving the phone call. I observed the skid marks on the road, a tire laying in the ditch, and various paint lines and circles which probably signified where something of interest had been found during the accident investigation. There was a memorial of numerous American flags and flowers at the corner of the intersection where Sgt. Dulle had been struck. Even though there was heavy traffic along the main state road, there was an eerie quiet in the area, the same quiet I’ve observed when visiting many civil war battlefields during my travels. That quiet is something we all probably imagine, knowing the significant tragedy that had occurred at that site. A very light rain began falling as I started my search on the corner of the intersection where Sgt. Dulle had been struck. The force of the impact had thrown him across the intersection near a light pole on the other corner of the intersection. There was another memorial of flowers and flags at that site. The wedding ring was made of tungsten, so I had no idea what reading or tone I would get from my detector. I set my DFX in an “all metal mode” so I was getting numerous hits, but I was only checking those within one inch of the ground surface. Cars would periodically honk their horns as they passed by and one gentleman even stopped his car, rolled down his window and just said “thank you, thank you”. I was stunned and somewhat shaken by this emotional outpouring.

    After I had been searching for about 30 minutes, another family of four stopped to begin a visual search for his ring while I was there. We introduced ourselves. They were the Kirby family who indicated they were the next door neighbors of the Sheriff. I soon joined them in searching the other corner of the intersection. I asked Mrs. Kirby what a tungsten ring looked like. She indicated it would be a polished metal, grayish in color. As I made my way in an arc from the corner area of the intersection, I reached the ditch line next to the state road. As I began making my way back toward the light pole, parallel to the ditch line, I started finding several coins. They were still on the surface of the ground, obviously having been there for only a short time. I remembered Mr. Otis making a remark during our phone call that while hunting the previous day with his detector, he had found several coins on the ground near the light pole. He suspected the coins may have come from the pant pockets of Sgt. Dulle. I continued my search in a straight line toward the light pole, following the direction of the coins. Within approximately 20 feet of the pole, I got a VDI reading of 52 from a target within a half inch of the ground surface. I used my DX-1 probe to get the exact location of the target. As I parted the grass, I saw the shinny, gray metal rim of what looked like a ring, partially exposed above the surface of the mud. It appeared as if it may have been accidentally stepped on and been pressed into the soft ground. I reached down and carefully pulled the ring out of the ground and wiped it off. It was a large tungsten wedding band and it was in perfect condition. I yelled out I thought I had found the ring and the members of the Kirby family rushed over to inspect the find. Mr Kirby, a Warren County judge, immediately sent a text to the Sheriff’s department to let them know the ring had been found, along with my phone number. Most deputies were still attending the funeral services for Deputy Dulle at the time. We all stood there staring at the ring for a few moments, in our own thoughts and reflectance. As we turned to return to our vehicles, the Kirby family thanked me for locating the ring and commented on how it would mean so much to the Dulle family. As I drove home, I called my wife to let her know I had found the wedding band. As I thought of the Dulle family, the three small children now with no father, and the grief they must be feeling, I became overwhelmed with emotion and started to cry and my wife cried with me as I continued my drive home.

    Within 20 minutes of being home, I received a phone call from Sheriff Larry Sims. I verified I thought I had found Sgt. Dulle’s wedding band and I gave him my address. Within 10 minutes, two deputies arrived at our home with their cruiser lights flashing. My wife, who always seems to know what to do at these moments, had hunted in our basement and found a small jewelry gift box in which to place the ring. It was a very emotional moment as I presented the deputies the box with the ring. I could hear the one deputy catch his breath as he opened the box and his eyes became moist with tears. They both then thanked me and hugged me and my wife several times and we all began to cry. They were going to return the ring to Sgt. Dulle's widow who was still at the cemetery. I found the ring at 3:15 that afternoon. At the funeral, the “last call” for Sgt. Brian Dulle was made just five minutes later, at 3:20.

    I had the opportunity to meet Mrs. Dulle a few days later, at the ceremony at the Sheriff’s Office recognizing Mr. Otis and myself for our efforts in finding the ring. I told her that there were many who had participated in the search for her husband’s ring, and their efforts should not be forgotten. While I had the honor of making the find, it didn’t really matter who found the ring. What mattered was the ring was found…and returned to its rightful place, with Mrs. Dulle.

    I hope the wedding band will allow Mrs. Dulle and her family to find some small measure of comfort in their grieving process and may Brian Dulle, who gave his life in the line of duty, rest in peace. Should you wish to donate, the Dulle family has established Maddie’s Hope Foundation in recognition of their daughter’s continued battle against cancer:

    Bill Baecker
    Lebanon, Ohio
    Kace likes this.

  2. #2
    Apr 2008
    Springfield, Oregon
    Explorer SE, Pro coil inline probe. Also the Excal II
    176 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Honorable Mentions (2)

    Re: The Priceless Find

    A very touching and well written story. I commend you for being the one to find his wedding band and returning it to his wife. The ring will not bring him back, but it will help preserve his memory and afford her some small measure of closure. Well Done........
    Gold Nuggets
    It's amazing just how much treasure people loose and we manage to find.

  3. #3
    May 2011
    Halifax, N.C.
    Minelab Excal II, Whites Surfmaster Dual Field, Fisher CZ 6a,Teknetics G2,Deeptech Vista Gold, Tosoro Sand Shark, Minelab Sovereign GT, Sunspot sand scoop
    167 times
    Honorable Mentions (1)

    Re: The Priceless Find

    A very touching and well written article. Very well done! Your efforts have brought honor to yourself and the metal detecting community. Nothing in life is more uplifting than to make a difference in someones life for the better.

  4. #4
    Feb 2008
    SE Missouri
    garage sale oldie
    865 times
    TH'ing, fishing, reading, cooking

    Re: The Priceless Find

    Thank you BP. you brought tears to my eyes
    dancing in the fire!

  5. #5

    Sep 2008
    Fresno, CA.
    (Whites) MXT, MXT PRO, SURF PRO/PI and COINMASTER 5500/D, (Fisher) GOLDBUG. AT PRO(Garrett), CTX 3030(Mine Lab).
    24 times
    Metal Detecting

    Re: The Priceless Find - Wedding Ring Returned to Officer's Widow

    Real nice recovery Thank you.
    May the Lord watch.
    Between me and thee.
    While we are absent.
    One from the other.



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