CARY, N.C. (WTVD) --Lost more than 40 years ago, Deborah Watts Burdette never thought she'd see her dad's college class ring from N.C. State again. Thanks to a metal detector, a Cary business, and some luck, Deborah finally has it back.
Deborah says her dad lost it during a family trip to Hatteras more than 40 years ago. She said he lost some weight and the ring was loose, and that's how it must have fallen off her dad's finger.
"We've always wanted the ring back because it meant so much to us," Deborah explained. "Growing up, my father used to spin it and tap you on the head when you were misbehaving, we know all about that ring. When he lost it we were like, 'We will never get in trouble again.'"
Not too long ago Deborah got a phone call from a Cary jeweler saying he had the ring. She was shocked.
"Instantly came out and got it," Deborah added. Within 30 minutes she was at Treasure Isle Jewelry off East Chatham Street in Cary.
Steve Prutsman of Treasure Isle told me one of his customers found the ring with a metal detector at Hatteras. She brought it to his store, and he bought the ring for its gold.
"She said it was buried in 8 to 10 inches of sand. They had to dig to get it out," Steve said. "Once we cleaned it and got the sand off the inside, we saw a name from the inside of it, Moultrie Watts. That's when I googled the name and saw he passed away about 10 years ago."
From the obituary, Steve googled the names of Moultrie's children and immediately got a number for his daughter Deborah. Deborah couldn't believe he dad's class ring from 1952 was finally back in her possession.
"I'm going to cherish it," Deborah said.
"I knew this was something special for her because her father passed away and that I knew she would want back," Steve said.
Deborah tried to pay Steve for what he paid for the ring, but he refused.
"It was worth the look on Debbie's face when she saw the ring, it made it worthwhile," Steve added.
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