Earlier this month, a viral video showed a proposal nightmare: it started with a romantic moment and ended with a lost engagement ring. Now, less than two weeks later, the ring is back with its owners—but this outcome was no easy feat.
Seth Dixon had been dating Ruth Salas for nearly four years when he got down on one knee to propose. "We knew this day was coming," he told a local news station. It's safe to say he didn't predict what would happen next, though. Dixon and Salas were on a picturesque bridge overlooking a pond in Kansas City's Loose Park when disaster struck: in the excitement, Dixon dropped the ring on the bridge beneath him, and it rolled between the slats, plopping into the water below. He and his bride-to-be looked up in disbelief, then looked down into the water, hoping the ring was still within reach. It was not.
Just as bad, the entire exchange was caught on camera—what should have been a sweet proposal video turned into a cautionary tale against proposing near any body of water.
"It ping-ponged through the crack and I hear it plop in the water," Salas said. "I didn't know what else to think but, 'Oh my goodness.'"
Friends rushed to the park with goggles, fanning out across the pond to search for the ring. It never turned up.
That is, until fellow Missourian and perfect stranger Michael Long made it his mission to find and return the ring. He heard the story and knew he had to help. “I wanted to make sure they got it back before somebody else found it and had the opportunity to not give it back,” he said.
Long encountered the video the way much of the world did: on Facebook. Then he set out to help Dixon and Salas—who he'd never met—with the three 170-mile treks to Loose Park. His first search was unsuccessful, even though Long scoured the area with a metal detecter, popping out of the water for air then diving back in to look some more. But when he went back a few days later, a three-hour search turned up the missing treasure: a stunning diamond with a halo and a delicate criss-cross band.
Long said he wanted to give the couple peace of mind, but in finding their lost engagement ring, he returned to them an important symbol of their love and life together. Dixon and Salas got their ring back early last week. They plan to get married in October.