Dating for four years, Kansas City couple Seth Dixon and Ruth Salas were ready to take the plunge into marriage. They just never anticipated having to literally go diving for the engagement ring.
On Saturday evening that’s what happened, captured on a friend’s video, when Dixon got on one knee on the footbridge spanning a corner of the pond at Loose Park. He flipped open the box holding the $3,000 diamond engagement ring he is still making payments on.
Then, oops, the ring popped out of the box. It bounced twice, then fell through the bridge’s wooden slats. Dixon is captured on video on both knees, mouth agape, trying to grab it.
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“It’s absolutely real. I wish it wasn’t,” Dixon said on Monday. He works as an Uber driver in Warrensburg.
“We freaked out,” said Salas, a substitute teacher for the Liberty School District. “It ping-ponged from one plank to another. You could hear a little plop.”
“It is real. It happened,” said Maddie Villareal of Independence, who has known Dixon for 17 years, Salas for five, through Lifegate Church in Independence. She was there, videoing the proposal on her cellphone.
Soon after the ring disappeared, they all were in the water, searching in the deep silt until the night turned too dark.
“There was so much mud and nasty algae,” Villareal said. “There were sticks going between my toes. Not my cup of tea, but I didn’t want to leave without the ring. Then it was just getting too dark. And the flashlight was dying.”
The next morning, the couple went back, this time with a man with a metal detector whom they had hired off of the internet. The water was too deep for him. Dixon got in with the detector to search.
At 11 a.m., they went to Sunday services at Lifegate Church. When the story got out, parishioners headed to Loose Park and, from about 3 p.m on, also waded in.
“We probably had 25 people there. I think we had like 12 people in the water all at once,” said Staci Dabney, a wedding photographer who attends church with the couple and snapped photos of the ring search.
That search also turned up empty, and the ring is still, presumably, in the water. Although insured for damage or for loss of just the diamond, the entire ring is not insured if it is lost, Salsa and Dixon said.
Their wedding is scheduled for Oct. 21. What is their plan?
“Well, we’re still trying to figure it out,” Salas said. A gofundme page, “Seth and Ruth’s ring replacement,” was established Monday to help the couple. It had zero dollars raised as of 3 p.m. Monday.
“It’s been a roller coaster of emotions to be honest,” Salas said Monday. “Honestly, I’m happy and excited that we’re finally engaged. Just sad I don’t have a ring to show for it.”
The couple have faith and are trying to be good humored about it.
“I know God will work everything out,” Salas said. “We’ve kind of laughed at it, too. Gotta make fun of it, somehow.”
Oh, did Salas actually accept the proposal?
“We never got that far!” Salas said.
The answer: Yes.