She said yes. That’s what matters.

But try telling that to the devastated groom-to-be who watched a diamond engagement ring drop into the ocean and disappear in the sand below. 

“I never even got a glimpse of it,” said Molly Murphy (as in Murphy’s Law), who was standing in about 6 inches of water with now-fiance Evan Dunaway (as in “done away” with the ring) at a pristine island about an hour offshore. “He was telling me how much he loves me. But the ring wasn’t secured in the setter inside the box, so it fell out as soon as he opened the box.”

The snafu occurred Monday, Feb. 22, when the couple’s friend Matt Atkinson took them out on his boat with the planned proposal a secret between the guys.

On the way to an offshore sandbar, the trio spotted a pod of dolphins, and Atkinson looked at Dunaway, his raised eyebrow suggesting this would be a good time and place to pop the question. But Dunaway wanted to ask her at the sandbar.

That’s where it all fell apart.

“We searched for an hour and then called a friend to bring a metal detector out,” Murphy told Keys Weekly. “They came out and searched and we still couldn’t find it. Evan kept saying, ‘God, this is something you see in a YouTube video and you feel so badly for the poor guy. Now, I’M that guy.’”

“I kept saying, ‘At least we’re engaged,’” Murphy said, “But it was still heartbreaking. The ring included a diamond from Evan’s mom and then some others surrounding that one.”

Upon learning of the disaster, Dunaway’s mother found an online group of ‘ring finders’ with metal detectors. One of them, Alex Corpion, was in Key West. 

“He’s an amazing human being,” Murphy said. “He left work early the next day and we headed back out to the sandbar with his professional-level metal detector. After searching for about an hour, he found it. We couldn’t believe it and we can’t begin to thank Alex for his miracle, modern-day treasure hunt. And he had just signed up for the ring-finder group two weeks ago. We were his first call.”

The couple moved to Key West nearly three years ago after meeting in the Virgin Islands in 2017. 

 “It’s absolutely stunning and I’m so, so happy,” Murphy said. “I feel like I have a piece of treasure on my finger for the rest of my life.”

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