Unforgettable Find: Middleville Man’s Ring Returned 33 Years Later

Posted at 6:32 PM, Mar 17, 2014

BARRY COUNTY, Mich. (March 17, 2014) – “I’ve gone through a lot of things in the 33 years, and then wonder what this has gone through,” said Randy Eggers from Middleville.

If rings could talk, Randy Eggers’ 1980 Thornapple-Kellogg class ring would tell quite a story. Randy wore it for less than three years until he got into car accident.

It was January of 1981: Randy and his friends were delivering newspapers along Country Club Drive, a road that’s since been closed. During those deliveries they got into a crash, and that was the last that Randy ever saw of his ring.

“I don’t know if it came off in the ambulance, at the hospital, I just don’t know,” said Randy.

The ring was lost for 33 years until a childhood neighbor in Barry County, who also graduated from Thornapple-Kellogg High School, was perusing the Grand Rapids Online Auction. She saw something that quickly caught her eye: a tarnished ring with a $5 bid. 

“I saw that it was inscribed, then the name, and thought, ‘I know that guy,’ I actually grew-up across the street from him,” said Jaime Batdorff, a childhood neighbor of Randy.

Losing a ring struck a chord with Jaime, especially one with such an unknown past. That’s when she started playing detective: using Facebook, Jaime spotted someone with the last name Eggers liking her friends’ pictures; then she sent a message.

That message became a link to 33 years of mystery. 

“I guess in my thought process too was what if he did lose this, because I lost my mine and I’ve never found it,” said Jaime.

Grand Rapids Online Auction says its sentimental value may have kept it alive. Someone brought the ring to Diemer’s Coins, then because it wasn’t gold or silver, the it was passed onto the auction.

“It was on the auction but we thought it’d be the right thing to take it off and give it back to him,” said Josh Vanderwerf, manager with Grand Rapids Online Auction.

When Randy picked up his ring, he slipped it on his finger once again, bringing him back to the days of his high school innocence.

“It blew my mind. I couldn’t believe it. It was an emotion that’s hard to speak, just very overwhelming,” said Randy.

Randy plans to pass his ring down to his grandson. Now the mystery remains: where was the ring for 33 years, and who found it?

Randy is asking the person who brought the ring into Diemer’s to reach out so he can say “thank you” and learn a little more about its past.

If you have any information, please email or you can message FOX 17’s Dana Chicklas on Facebook.