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Mystery on Tap at State College Brew Pub: Where is Wedding Rings' Missing Owner?

by on October 17, 2013 10:35 AM

Somewhere out there is a woman who's missing some very valuable finger bling.

Patton Township police are trying to reunite that mystery woman with her rings -- an engagement ring and a wedding band.

The rings were left behind, around Sept. 20, when a couple stopped at Otto's Pub & Brewery on North Atherton Street.

Vicky Ponish, Otto's office manager, says the woman took off her rings to try out some hand lotion in the gift shop. "They were found on the counter," Ponish says. "Because they didn't purchase anything, we didn't have a name. We didn't recognize them as being pub members or regular customers."

Patton Township Police Chief John Petrick says the staff at Otto's held onto the rings for several weeks, believing the owner would come back for them. The rings were handed over to law enforcement a few days ago -- after the staff lost hope of finding the owner.

Does this sort of thing happen often? "No," says Ponish. "When somebody leaves something here that's of any value, usually within a couple days after they've left Otto's they call back. She adds, "It is odd especially because they're beautiful rings."

Neil Tomnay is the Otto's employee who found the rings. "I was just hoping that somebody would come forward and say that they lost them because every day I saw them in here it was kind of upsetting because they are definitely somebody's wedding bands. I would have re-traced my steps and thought that's the last place I had been in."

Ponish says they have a theory. "The only thing we can figure is that it was possibly somebody who was passing through State College and maybe had stopped at various places and just didn't remember," she says.

Perhaps the strongest clue comes from Kevin Franklin, Otto's operations manager. Franklin says he saw the woman as she tried the hand lotion. "She was probably 5'8", gray hair, slender and in her 60's maybe even older," he says.

Chief Petrick doesn't want to give out much information about the rings because when somebody tries to claim them, they'll have to provide some inside information. Petrick says, "They will meet with a detective. And they will have to give a very, very detailed description."

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Steve Bauer was the Managing Editor of Steve and his wife Trina are longtime area residents. They reside in State College along with a wacky Golden Retriever named Izzy.
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