8 Years and 1,500 Miles Lost Retirement Ring Returns to Arlington Hts

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Byline: Jon Davis Daily Herald Staff Writer

From Arlington Heights to Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, it's 1,188 miles as the crow flies, or a 1,522-mile drive that takes about 30 hours.

Tony Muscarello's Chicago firefighter retirement ring made the round-trip journey in about eight years, but how it got from here to there is anybody's guess.

The Arlington Heights resident lost the ring in 1992 and had given up on ever finding it.

But on Nov. 28, Muscarello received a call from an official of Chicago Firefighters' Union Local 2, relating that Chicago police had been contacted by the Codiac Regional Royal Canadian Mounted Police station in Moncton, New Brunswick.

It seems a constable found the ring in the hands of a local drifter.

As Ripley might have said, "Believe it ... or not."

Or, as Muscarello said, "I'd love to know where it's been."

A retired Chicago firefighter who logged 32 years with the department, Muscarello was given the ring at his retirement ceremony in September 1987. Loaded with sentimental value, it's engraved with his initials, "ATM," and retirement date of "9-29- 87."

Muscarello, who works as an independent contractor for the Daily Herald, believes he originally lost the ring in the parking lot of a former Chicago Health Club at Dempster Street and Waukegan Road in Morton Grove.

"I usually take a shower, but I was in a hurry to get out of there," said Muscarello, so he threw his street pants over his arm and left in his sweat clothes.

The ring was in his pants pocket, and most likely fell out in the parking lot. After he got home, Muscarello noticed it was missing, so he went back to look for it. He couldn't find it. He posted a sign at health club, but it never turned up, so he figured that was that.

And for about eight years, that was that. Then, at 4 p.m. on Nov. 26, Constable Terry Mitchell picked up a man for public intoxication. The man as a matter of routine was searched before being placed in a cell. During the search, Mitchell noticed a ring. …