(KINGVALE, Calif.) — Douglas Benedetti was a man on a mission when he returned to a snowy California highway to find what seemed like a needle in a haystack: a wedding ring lost in the piles of snow.
The ring was not even his own but that of a complete stranger, a man Benedetti, a snow chain installer by trade, had stopped to help one Friday night along Interstate 80 near Kingvale, Calif.
“He was installing his chains without gloves on, his hands got cold [and] he didn’t realize his ring had slipped off,” Benedetti said.
That is what the driver, whose name Benedetti still does not know, told Benedetti when he pulled over to help the man. Instead of helping with his car, Benedetti watched the driver frantically sifting through the snow.
“He was using the light on his cell phone to look for it in the snow, and he had no luck,” Benedetti said.
The driver, whose wife was waiting in the car, eventually quit the search and drove off. Benedetti, however, could not get the search out of his mind and returned to the scene at one o’clock the next morning to search again.
“I decided to go look for the ring because I knew approximately where it was,” he said. “I was hunting with my head lamp and hand light.”
Less than an hour later, Benedetti found the ring submerged in the snow next to a semi-truck. The platinum ring was inscribed with the words “Lisa, 5th June, 2010.”
Benedetti is now on the search for the driver and his wife to return the ring, another needle-in-a-haystack search considering he knows only the wife’s name, Lisa.
“It happened so fast,” he said of not getting the driver’s name. “I’ve never been married, but I know that if a husband loses his wedding ring someone else is going to be very upset.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Seth Fiegerman, CNN
Jamiel Lynch and Debra Goldschmidt, CNN
Jackie Wattles, CNN