Updated: Thursday, 09 Jun 2011, 12:46 PM MDT
Published : Wednesday, 08 Jun 2011, 5:34 PM MDT
SANTA FE (KRQE) - Police have found the rightful owner of a $30,000 stunning diamond ring just weeks before it was to be auctioned off because it sat in an evidence room for two years.
In 2009, police said the ring ended up in their evidence locker after two people tried to sell it to a Santa Fe jeweler. The owner of the store thought it was suspicious because the couple only wanted a few hundred bucks, and he knew the ring would appraise for about $30,000.
When police were called the couple ran off.
Lt. Louis Carlos said for two years not one single call came into the Santa Fe Police Department about this three-carat pear-shaped stunner. So the diamond ring sat in police evidence since 2009.
In May, the department decided it would auction the ring off, but before they did, they let the public have one more look at the $30,000 beauty.
Several news outlets reported the upcoming auction. Soon after those reports aired and were splashed in newspapers the calls started pouring into the police station.
Carlos said 25 people called or stopped by Santa Fe police headquarters. They all claimed it was their ring. Detectives sat and listened to every story.
“We had stories - from it was burglarized,” Carlos said. “Stories that it was taken from them.”
Carlos said the majority of the possible owners were eliminated because they didn't have proof it was theirs. He said, he thought for sure the massive rock was headed for the auction block.
That was until he got a call from a woman, not only claiming it was hers but saying she could prove it.
“First words out of her mouth were, ‘This is my ring,'” Carlos said about the phone call he received.
The woman, who did not want her named to be published, told Carlos the ring was an engagement ring. She had bought the ring in her name on her credit.
She said her fiancé at that time was supposed to make payments for it. However, shortly after the ring disappeared so did he. The woman told police she was stuck with the bill.
Carlos said it was that bill that helped prove her case.
“She was able to produce documentation that the ring belonged to her,” Carlos said.
The woman e-mailed Carlos the original receipt dated in 1997. It had her name on it, a picture, description and details about the "used" ring's flaws.
“Once we were able to compare those flaws with the ring, we were satisfied that this was her ring,” Carlos said.
Carlos said the woman also brought in some pictures of herself wearing the ring. He said it was a perfect match. On Wednesday morning, the woman picked up the ring she thought she would never see again.
“What she said was she actually found a long-lost love,” Carlos said.
Carlos said the woman claimed she didn't file a police report because she wasn't certain that the ring had been stolen or just misplaced. She also said she was already planning on buying a duplicate ring to replace it.