Two weeks ago, cashier Ethell Perkins misplaced her cherished wedding ring while working the endless holiday lines at Walmart in Omaha, Neb. For more than 20 years, Perkins had worn the diamond ring, which served as a constant and irreplaceable symbol of her marriage to her now-deceased husband. Perkins was so upset by the loss that she asked her supervisor to finish her shift.
Walmart managers scanned surveillance video and were able to pinpoint the exact moment Perkins lost the ring while packing out a plastic bag for a family of holiday shoppers. They concluded that the ring was on her finger when her hand went into the bag and was gone when it came out.
Unfortunately, they were not able to identify the family involved in the transaction. The best they could do was hope that these Walmart customers would spot the ring once they got home and be honest enough to return it to the store.
"In my line of work, I see a lot of bad things,” Walmart asset protection manager Nick Tolen told KMTV, “but I was hoping just this once, there would be a good person who would bring it back."
On the Monday before Christmas, Omaha police officer Josh Martinec and his wife, Leslie, were finally sorting through holiday presents they bought 10 days earlier when Leslie spotting something unusual in her Walmart bag.
"I pulled it out and said, 'Oh my gosh, Josh,'" Leslie recounted. "He thought it was actually my ring, and that I had lost a diamond or something. I said, 'Uhh, I don't know what to do with this.'"
Josh knew exactly what to do.
On Christmas Eve, the Martinec family returned to Walmart to deliver a special gift to a very surprised and appreciative cashier.
"Thank you so much," Perkins said to the Martinecs. "God is good. Thank you, Jesus."
Josh told KMTV that he was glad the wedding ring was dropped into his bag and not the bag of some Scrooge.
"I'm just glad we could pay it forward for the holidays,” said Leslie, “because that's what it's all about."
Walmart managers could hardly believe Perkins’ good fortune and were impressed by the Martinecs’ honesty. They told KMTV they’ve never seen anything like this. When expensive items go missing, they are generally not returned.
"I'm grateful," said Perkins. "It's been a Merry Christmas for all of us."