COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KOAA) — Trudie Preiss almost always wears her rings, so imagine the shock she felt when she realized they were missing from the desk in her room.
"I felt really bad thinking that maybe I had been careless," said Preiss.
But she wasn't careless, she was a victim of a crime.
Preiss and her family realized three of her rings were stolen from her room at The Bridge Assisted Living Facility in Colorado Springs. The theft reportedly happened while she was in the hospital.
The three rings included her engagement and wedding band from her late husband of 60 years.
After notifying staff members, the facility reached out to Colorado Springs Police (CSPD), saying they recently had issues with a former staff member and thought the missing rings might be connected to her.
Officer Nate Ferrari was assigned to Preiss's case. He scanned a database and found the former employee pawned items on Sept. 17.
After visiting Preiss, he learned the wedding band had an inscription inside. The pawn shop confirmed one of the three rings they had matched that description.
"I bawled. I started to cry," said Lori Trivelli, Preiss's daughter.
Ferrari was able to return the rings to Preiss on Oct. 5, her 98th birthday.
"I'm just blessed to be able to be involved with this," said Ferrari.
He and Preiss have developed a special bond since he solved her case.
Preiss now calls Ferrari her "hero."
This story was originally reported by Natalie Chuck on koaa.com.