Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Mystery Ring Lost in Ventura County 15 Years Ago Returned To Widow Of Owner


This is a story about something you might call a little miracle. In fact, maybe, it’s something more. Thanks to a thoughtful woman and a persistent private investigator, a family has recovered an important memento which disappeared in a Ventura County park some 15 years ago.

The story starts on March 15th, 1991. It’s the day when Edward and Katheryn Labrador of Oxnard became a couple. They moved to Las Vegas, where in 1998 Edward graduated from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. He received a special graduation gift from his parents, a class ring.

Catherine Labrador says her husband became an ICU nurse. In 2002, they moved back to Ventura County.

He was an avid cyclist, and in 2004, he took part in a major charity bike ride. She and their five year old son caught up with him during a stop in a Camarillo park. He had written a note to his son, saying in case something ever happened to him, he wanted him to have the UNLV ring. He gave it to the five year old, but the boy promptly lost it in the park.

The woman was panicked, and they searched, but they couldn’t find the ring.

But, someone had found the ring. A woman discovered it, but didn’t know what to do with it. She also forgot about it until recently. She mentioned it to someone she met. Paul Dryman is a private investigator, and President of Thousand Oaks based “Informed Decision.” He went to work on the mystery. He tracked down Catherine Labrador, who is now living in Henderson, Nevada.

Ironically, Dryman called Labrador this past March 15th with the news the ring had been found. It was the 28th anniversary of when the Labradors first became a couple. She feels it was her husband trying to tell her that he’s still around, watching over her.

Dryman says it feels good to have a happy ending to the story. Labrador says she’s given the UNLV class ring to her son, Matt, just like her husband had asked 15 years ago.

What makes it even more special is that like his father, the now 20 year old is a student at his dad’s alma mater in Las Vegas.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.