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Ice storm helps homeowners discover wedding ring lost for years

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CHICAGO (CNN) – As the cold weather continues across the country, one family tried to protect their pipes and ended up solving an emotional mystery.

Tara Catogge said, “We realized that our upstairs heat wasn’t working and we knew the pipe ran along the back of the house.  So, we panicked because we’re not originally from Chicago and we really don’t have a lot of experience.”

Catogge and her husband were facing frozen pipes and made an interesting discovery.

Ian Comes said, “It was just in the trap. We just undid it and it was completely disgusting and it just fell out. I’m amazed it was there. It’s probably been there 15 years.”

The couple discovered a diamond and sapphire wedding band.

Catogge said, “It looked old and important to somebody, so that’s when we started the search.”

After a diligent cleaning, Catogge began tracking down the previous homeowners.

She said, “I asked him if Louise ever lost a diamond ring. He said, ‘Oh my God, yes!’ He said, ‘She did.’ And I asked if it has sapphires. He just kept gasping almost.”

Louise and Randy Hearne had searched for the ring for years, assuming it was lost at a family gathering.

Catogge said, “We have nothing but the fondest feelings about this horrible ice storm.”

The Hearnes say they are ecstatic and are about to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary.

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