(CNN) – A man with a metal detector discovered something precious outside a high school in Missouri. For a family in Ironton, it was not only precious, but priceless.
The ring was nearly six inches underground.
Gabe Weiss was waving his metal detector near Arcadia Valley High School when he thought he struck gold.
“I got real excited. I thought it was a gold coin. A period civil war coin. Well when I dug the hole, looked down, there was a big ring in there — a nice pretty one,” said Weiss.
He posted a photo of the ring on social media, hoping to find its owner.
“It was a long shot. I mean you gotta start somewhere, and it wasn’t mine,” he said.
The ring belonged to Kevin Davis, who was killed in a car accident in 1999. He had lost the ring, and his family was never able to find it.
Kevin’s sister saw the photo and knew right away.
“I think it’s a sign that he’s still here, and wants us to know that he’s okay,” said Sarah Krause.
Kevin’s family was moved to tears when the ring was returned.
Kevin’s brother, Michael, said: “it makes goose bumps on me, because I can just feel this thing and know that I’ve got him.”
“It’s got Kevin’s name on it, and his birthstone,” said Sarah
They found his initials on the ring, and a football his mother had engraved, because the family played football on Sundays.
Michael said: “all the days I wake up, I always tell myself it’s hard, hard to wake up every day because I know he’s not here. But to me I feel like it’s a sign from him and God to let me know that it’s okay. You know you can finally let it go and be at rest with it.”
Weiss said: “It means a lot. It does. I just, I don’t see how it played out how it did. It’s a miracle, and it’s one of the best finds I’ve ever had and ever will, and I’ll always remember it.”
“This is just amazing to me. I don’t I mean I still don’t know how we got it. Just a remarkable find. Almost wants to bring you tears to really, you know how could that be found 19 years later.”
The family plans on taking the ring to a jeweler to have it cleaned so they can return it to the person who gave it to Kevin — his mother.