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Wedding Ring Returned to Fallen Ohio Officer's Widow

LEBANON, Ohio --

Along a rural road in Warren County, two men's lives and one man's death intersected last week.

Warren County sheriff's deputy Sgt. Brian Dulle was trying to put down stop sticks on Ohio route 48 when he was struck by a speeding car and killed.

In the aftermath, as investigators picked through the debris and officials prepared Dulle's body for burial, it was discovered that at some point, the wedding band on Dulle's left hand had disappeared.

Deputies searched the area around the crash site for the ring, as did firefighters and other officers. One of those firefighters told his father, Charles Otis, about the search.

Soon, Otis joined the search.

"The deputy gave his life protecting Warren County, it's the least I can do," he said.

But he had no better luck than anyone else.

"A ring is one of the hardest things to find," Otis said.

So Otis turned to the Dayton Diggers a group of hobbyists that enjoy historical research and recovery.

Last Saturday, as the community and countless officers gathered for Dulle's funeral, Member Bill Baecker began to search with his metal detector.

"I started finding coins. You could tell they were pretty fresh, so I followed the coins," he said.

Soon after that, Baecker found Dulle's wedding band. He contacted authorities, who dispatched a deputy to retrieve it and bring it to the cemetery, where it was given to Dulle's widow, Abbie, as she left her husband's graveside.

On Friday, the two men were honored by the sheriff's office for their actions.

"I'm glad I reached out to him. Told my friend I was reaching out to the big guns. And he came through for me," Otis said.

"It really doesn't matter who found the ring. What really matters is the ring was found and returned to its rightful place, Abbie Dulle," Baecker said.

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