Former nurse and Jupiter, Fla., resident Carol Winig is on a mission to identify the honest little girl who found her engagement ring in a supermarket parking lot and turned it over to the store's management. Winig wants to give the youngster a reward and a big hug.
The six-year-old had spotted the diamond solitaire ring in the parking lot of a Publix supermarket on May 14 and promptly turned it in. The girl didn't give her name and her identity remains a mystery.
Earlier that day, Winig had been shopping at the same Publix and stopped into the bathroom to wash her hands. She removed three rings from her hand — her engagement ring, a platinum wedding band and an antique wedding band that once belonged to her husband's grandmother — and slipped them into her back pocket.
“As I did it, I put the rings in my back pocket and I said to myself, ‘This is probably not one of your better moves, putting them there. Just remember to take them out,’” she told local ABC affiliate WPBF.
Winig forgot to take them out, and that's where her story takes a turn for the worse. Standing near her car with a cart of groceries, she reached into her pocket to pull out her receipt. Just then she heard a "ting, ting, ting" as her receipt dropped to the ground in the parking lot.
“All I could find was the receipt,” Winig said. “So even though it made no sense, I thought, ‘Well, if that’s all I’m seeing, then I didn’t lose anything.’”
What she failed to realize was that all three precious rings had fallen from her pocket and were left behind in the parking lot as she drove away.
About 20 minutes later, at about 7 p.m., the mystery youngster found the most precious of the three rings — Winig's engagement ring — lying on the pavement. It was the ring Winig's husband gave her when he first proposed.
The next morning, Winig realized that all three rings were missing, so she scampered back to Publix to try to find them. After searching the parking lot unsuccessfully, she entered the store and asked if any rings had been turned in.
Management handed her an envelope with the engagement ring inside.
“That’s my ring! That’s my ring!” Winig remembered saying to the staff. And then she cried as she placed it back on her finger.
"For me, that was the most incredible gift to have been able to get the ring back," she told WPBF.
Now, Winig is trying to find the honest, heroic young lady responsible for returning her ring. The staff at Publix did not get her name, just the fact that was six years old.
“This little girl needs to be hugged and rewarded," Winig told WPBF.
Winig's story has gotten a fair amount of media attention. It was covered by local ABC affiliate WPBF and was a featured on the website mypalmbeachpost.com, but the little hero has yet to come forward.
Winig still holds out hope that the other two lost rings may eventually be found, but "that would be a miracle," she said.
Credits: Screen captures via wpbf.com.