A homeless man in Lexington who found a Georgetown College football ring has returned it to its owner after 3 months-long search.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports Robert “Shorty” Eads found the ring while working for a program that is meant to stop panhandling by putting the jobless to work collecting trash.

“I know it meant something to somebody,” Eads said recently. “If it was the last thing that I did, I was going to get that ring back to its owner.”

Eads, a former electrician who has been homeless for eight years, had his backpack — where he keeps everything he owns — stolen four different times over the next three months. He lost everything. But not the ring.

“I always kept it on me,” Eads explained.

To find the ring’s owner, Eads called the Georgetown athletics department and searched the Internet without success. Finally he asked his supervisor for help.

Jarrod Jones is a retired Lexington Police officer who enlisted friends to join the hunt. They tracked down the owner’s father, Don Schmitz. His son lives in Denver but he got the ring back when he came home for Christmas.

His son, Adam Schmitz, lost the ring while attending a wedding in Lexington this summer. Adam Schmitz now lives in Denver.

The younger Schmitz, who graduated from Georgetown in 2013, said the ring means a lot.

He normally doesn’t wear the ring, but it was a former football teammate who got married in August. So he wore it for sentimental reasons.

“I only wore it for special occasions because I was afraid of losing it,” Adam Schmitz said in a phone interview from Colorado.

Schmitz said, “It was a Christmas gift to all of us.”

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In this Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018 photo, Jarrod Jones, left, and Robert
In this Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018 photo, Jarrod Jones, left, and Robert “Shorty” Eads, right, stand near the Panhandling van as Eads takes a break from picking up trash on North Broadway in Lexington, Ky. (Charles Bertram/Lexington Herald-Leader via AP)
In this Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018 photo, Robert
In this Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018 photo, Robert “Shorty” Eads picked up trash on North Broadway in Lexington, Ky. (Charles Bertram/Lexington Herald-Leader via AP)

Source: The Associated Press