February 4, 2009

Diamond ring lost at rest stop returned

An Ohio woman is getting back a $24,000 diamond ring she lost at a Kentucky highway rest stop, officials say.

The ring's owner, Phyllis Steelsmith, 57, of Columbus, Ohio, discovered she had left the ring behind on New Year's Day at the Interstate 75 Welcome Center in Florence, Ky., and had given it up for lost when she was contacted with good news, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported Wednesday.

Eileen Dillon of Trenton, Mich., like Steelsmith, had stopped at the Welcome Center on her way to Florida and spotted the ring on the floor, thinking it was a piece of costume jewelry. But weeks later when she had it appraised and discovered its value, she immediately contacted the manager of the rest stop, Jeff Thoke of the Kentucky Department of Travel.

Thoke knew that Steelsmith had reported the ring as missing and that a State Farm Insurance Co. adjuster had come to rest stop looking for it, but the adjuster hadn't left his name. Using the Internet, Thoke succeeded in tracking down the right insurance agent, and Steelsmith Wednesday was awaiting return of her diamond ring, the Enquirer said.