Inherited ring lost in Smokies returned to owner

A precious ring is on its way back to its owner after she lost it in the Great Smoky Mountains.
Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 9:32 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - An inherited ring is on its way home after an Ohio woman lost it in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Tuesday.

Danielle Ibarra was on her way home from the park when she realized that the ring she inherited after her grandmother passed away in May was missing. The ring was important to her, she said, because of her grandmother’s role in her family.

“She was the glue that held our family together so it was very special to me,” Ibarra said.

Ibarra usually keeps the ring on a necklace, since it does not fit her finger. That day in the Smokies she decided to wear a different necklace, but that did not stop her from keeping her grandmother close.

“That day I was wearing a different necklace, but I wanted to carry a piece of my grandmother while I was travelling,” she said.

Ibarra put the ring necklace on a stuffed bear, but noticed on her way home that the ring was missing.

“I broke down when I found out,” she said. “I just started going crazy.”

She retraced her steps, looking along several parkway turnoffs and even the Air BNB where she was staying while visiting the Smokies. Neither she nor her boyfriend could find the ring, so Ibarra took to Facebook to ask for help, but wasn’t confident she would see the ring again.

“I really thought that it was not going to be found,” she said, but by Wednesday morning, things had taken a good turn.

“After I did a little prayer last night I woke up with a bunch of messages saying someone had found it,” she said.

A woman visiting one of the lookouts Ibarra had visited, was lucky enough to stumble upon the ring, and after finding Ibarra on Facebook, offered to send it home. Ibarra said she was grateful and surprised someone managed to find it.

“It’s crazy and a miracle because I’m from Ohio and that park is so big,” she said.

Ibarra’s ring was sent on its way back to Ohio Wednesday morning, and should be home by the end of the week, she said.

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