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Lost wedding ring returned to Chilliwack widower

The Fraser Valley Treasure Hunters found Richard Toop
The Fraser Valley Treasure Hunters found Richard Toop's wife's wedding ring last week. The ring had been lost for three years.
— image credit: Mark Lewis

If they keep it up, the Fraser Valley Treasure Hunters are going to have to start wearing superhero capes and masks.

The growing group of local folks who love to go around with their metal detectors finding lost items recently reunited a Greendale man with his recently deceased wife's lost wedding ring.

The ring went missing three years ago while Jacqueline Toop was gardening in her yard in Greendale. Jacqueline and her husband Richard looked hard for the valuable ring, but never it was never found.

Jacqueline unexpectedly passed away in 2012 and the ring was, presumably, lost forever.

The couple's daughter Sarah later made a connection with a member of the Fraser Valley Treasure Hunters who said the club would love to come see if they could find the ring.

Mark Lewis of the group told the Times that the "hunt" was planned for more than a year. Because the property was small, only six hunters were allowed to participate, a group chosen by raffle among the 63 members.

On March 8, they headed to the Toops. They broke up the yard into sectors to begin their work. The group had been told that recent grass clippings had been removed so there was some fear the ring was gone forever.

But against all odds, after two hours in cold and rain, hunter Mike Wesloski was under an apple tree not far from what was left of the grass when he yelled out: "I found it!"

"We called Mr. Toop over from across the road," Lewis said. "He was gobsmacked. It was a very emotional day for everyone. It was a very, very emotional day.

"There weren't many dry eyes in the house."

Lewis said the group didn't quite pull off the impossible, but it was a "bit of a stretch" that the ring was still able to be found.

This isn't the first time they've helped out. Lewis said last year he and two other hunters went to Agassiz to help a woman find a lost watch in her yard.

"This is incredible when you can find something and you can trace it back to the owner and you know this means a lot to the owner," he said.

"The ring is back where it belongs."

Lewis wants people to know that he and his club members can help out to find lost objects.

"As long as its made of metal and hasn't been carried away."

The group won't charge for their services, unless it's a long drive and they need payment for gas, but they are happy to come out and hunt.

Find the group on Facebook or email fraservalleyth@gmail.com to get in touch.

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