Galveston officer helps woman find lost engagement ring at beach

By Leigh Frillici - Reporter

GALVESTON - Jessica Haelen lost her engagement ring along Galveston’s beaches near 8 Mile Road.  

Haelen said she was in a friend’s car, with the ring in her lap, cleaning off sand, when her friend’s car got stuck in the sand.

“When I hop out of the car, I don't realize my ring falls off,” Haelen said.

She did not realize it was gone until they were at a restaurant.  

“We're getting out of the car to go eat and I realize my ring is gone,” Haelen said.

This was not just any ring.

“It was my mom's, who passed away within six months of my stepfather, in high school, when I was a sophomore,” Haelen said.  “The more I look, the more I realize the odds are against us.”

When she realized the ring was gone, she called her fiance.

“She was crying, short of breath, all that kind of stuff,” William House said.

Then Haelen flagged down Officer Derrick Jaradi, of the Galveston Police Department.

“He looks at me and says, 'Actually, I got engaged today,' and that he felt led, called to help us,” Haelen said.

Jaradi brought his own metal detector to Haelen and her friends. They combed the beach for hours. Strangers joined in the search but they had no luck.

So they returned the metal detector back to Jaradi.  

Haelen said she prayed.  

She had been feeling down about her upcoming wedding and her parents not being there.

A few days earlier, she had asked God, if he was there, to show her a miracle. She wondered about the meaning of the lost ring.

“I thought maybe when I lost it, it was God telling me to let go of my parents and to move on with my life,” Haelen said.

Then, this text message popped up on her phone in the early hours of the morning: "Success!"

Jaredi had been called to go back to the beach to end a beach party. He decided to give the metal detector one last try and that's when he found the ring.

Haelen said she saw God’s hand in this.

“What are the odds of finding one officer in Galveston that's engaged, just got engaged the same day? (He) felt led to do that and it's such a God thing, I can't even describe it.”

We hoped to talk with Jaradi today but he was offshore doing his favorite thing -- fishing.

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