Woman's Public Thank-You Note to Mysterious Walmart Employee

A Topeka, Kansas woman was thrilled when the wedding ring she lost at Walmart was returned by a mysterious store employee. She was so grateful that she publicly thanked him in an open letter published in the Sunday edition of the Topeka-Capital Journal.

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In early June, Kathi Rakestraw, 58, was shopping at Walmart for camping supplies when her wedding ring of 28 years slipped off her finger.

“I first noticed that my ring was missing when I came home from Walmart and was changing out of my office clothes,” Rakestraw, a manager at Hallmark Cards, tells Yahoo! Shine. “My first thought was, ‘It probably slipped off when I was unloading groceries,’ so I started looking everywhere in the kitchen and my purse.”

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The channel-set 12-diamond band no longer fit Rakestraw’s ring finger so she wore it on her pinkie, and it had fallen off before, while putting her grandson into his car seat. But this time, she had no idea when it went missing.

“I was panicking and in tears when my husband came home. I just turned to him and said that my ring was lost and I had looked everywhere,” she says. “I thought about going back to Walmart but I couldn’t remember where I had parked my car to retrace my steps and was overwhelmed at the prospect of searching for it.”

Then, late to meet her girlfriends for the five-day camping trip, Rakestraw got in her car. “My girlfriends tried to cheer me up and I tried not to complain because I didn’t want to ruin everyone’s good time,” she says. “One friend urged me to call Walmart in case anyone had found it, so late that night, I called and asked to speak to the manager who said he would alert store employees.”

The very next morning, Rakestraw received a phone call. “It was someone named Nicole from Walmart who said that an employee named Bill who works in produce found my ring in a bin of corn,” she says. “I couldn’t believe it. I started crying and called my husband who drove to Walmart to pick it up.”

When she returned from her camping trip, Rakestraw went to the bank and withdrew $50, a reward she hoped to give Bill. “I called Walmart and asked if they could connect me to him because I had a reward, but a representative said that store employees can’t accept gifts.” However, determined to find Bill, she asked to speak to another manager in the hopes of at least meeting him, but her efforts were thwarted.

“I hope that Bill or someone who knows him is reading this and will find a way to contact me,” says Rakestraw. "He didn't have to return my ring and I want to thank him personally for returning my most valuable possession." 

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