Imagine losing your wedding ring two days after your wedding. Well, that’s what happened to former Idaho Statesman sports columnist Brian Murphy, who lost his ring in Payette Lake just 48 hours after saying “I do” to Melissa McGrath, also a former Statesman reporter.
It’s a good story to tease Murphy with for years to come at family gatherings, McGrath said, and now it has a happy ending. Last week, a friend of a friend saw Arthur Stock Jr.’s post on the Valley Community Classifieds and Bulletin’s Facebook page, and the ring is on its way home.
“The biggest lesson is how small the world is,” Murphy said. “The reach of social media is just incredible.”
A friend of a friend of McGrath’s noticed Stock’s post: “Is anyone familiar with a ‘Murph + Melissa’ who were married last year 6-28-14? I had found this ring in the lake.”
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“Shocked is the best word,” Murphy said. “I just assumed that it would never be found, especially because we looked so hard for it.”
Stock owns a small construction company in McCall. He found the ring while diving and doing maintenance on docks between Mile High and Legacy marinas about three weeks after Murphy lost the ring. It was about 70 feet from where Murphy lost it.
“I was running my hand under some sediment on the lake bottom, and the ring just jumped out into my hand,” Stock said. “It’s like it wanted to be found.”
Murphy and McGrath got hitched in Meridian on June 28, 2014. On the following Monday they spent the day in McCall with family and friends, jet skiing, boating and relaxing.
Murphy tried paddleboarding for the first time. On one of his falls into the chilly water, he felt something.
“Something brushed by my hand, but didn’t realize what it was until later,” Murphy said. “Melissa and I were walking back to her parents’ cabin. I looked down and the ring was gone.”
He went back to the dock with his new father-in-law and some cousins and dove for three hours looking for it.
“He came back pretty distraught,” McGrath said.
Since then the couple moved to northern Virginia for McGrath’s job with the Council of Chief State School Officers in Washington, D.C. Murphy is now the digital editor for the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va.
They resigned themselves to the idea that the ring was gone. They had a duplicate made, complete with their inscription, and bought a cheaper version of the ring for Murphy to wear when traveling and swimming — “just in case,” McGrath said.
Stock posted his find on Facebook originally in July 2014, but nothing came of it. He said he ran across the ring again and decided to give it another go.
This wasn’t Stock’s biggest find. He was heavily involved with the search for Dale Smith’s small airplane that crashed near Yellow Pine on Dec. 1, 2013, with four other family members aboard. Stock used Facebook then to help coordinate searchers. Stock and Smith’s brother, Dellon, were the two who finally discovered the snowbound wreckage and the bodies of the Smith family six weeks later.
“Facebook is pretty cool,” Stock said. “It really brings people together.”