Dying mom's wedding ring vanished at hospital, family says: 'I want to believe it's just misplaced'

Brooke Taylor Image
Tuesday, March 19, 2024
Family fears mom's wedding ring was stolen at hospital where she died
Angleton woman Michelle Josey's family fears their mother's wedding ring was stolen when she was admitted at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center.

ANGLETON, Texas (KTRK) -- A grieving daughter said her mother's wedding ring went missing or was stolen at Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center, where she trusted her mother would be safe.

On Jan. 28, Michelle Josey's husband called 911 when his 49-year-old wife stopped breathing. She later died at the hospital.

The family still doesn't know what happened and is waiting for the medical examiner's report. Because the family lives in Angleton, the town's police department was the first to respond.

The Angleton assistant police chief confirmed to ABC13 that when Michelle Josey was transported to the hospital, she was wearing her wedding ring, based on body camera footage and interviews with paramedics.

When the family realized her wedding ring was nowhere to be found, they didn't know how to react.

"I want to believe it's just misplaced. Maybe they removed it and stuck it in a drawer because that's something people have told us what happens. But as time goes on, it seems more as if someone has taken her ring from her," Kayla Josey, Michelle's daughter, said.

According to Kayla Josey, her mother and father, who had three children together, were about to celebrate their 28th anniversary.

"Just being able to have that ring back for our family would just be something we want to keep to remember their love," Kayla Josey said.

According to Angleton police, Michelle Josey was taken by ambulance. Then, Life Flight flew her to Memorial Hermann in the Texas Medical Center.

While the assistant chief confirms Michelle Josey had her ring, he couldn't say what happened once she was in the hospital because the Angleton Police Department does not have jurisdiction there.

Kayla Josey said the hospital assigned the case to an investigator and shared a hospital official's email:

Dear Ms. Josey,

I am writing to you on behalf of Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center regarding your mother's missing property. On behalf of the hospital, I want to express our condolences to you and your family on the loss of Mrs. Michelle Josey.

After you reported the loss of her missing wedding rings, we conducted an exhaustive, multi-departmental search but were unable to find the items matching that description. I acknowledge how important these irreplaceable items are to you and your family. My hope is that you find comfort and peace in priceless memories during your healing process.

I wish to extend our sincere sympathy to you and regret any additional strain that this situation has placed on you or your family. I can understand that this response comes to you at a sad time.

Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts.

The email does not mention what that search included and whether cameras inside the hospital were reviewed. When ABC13 reached out to Memorial Hermann, a spokesperson said they couldn't comment on the case because of patient privacy laws.

Kayla Josey also filed a report with the Houston Police Department. She said she called to check on the case, and someone told her that theft cases can take a year to be assigned an investigator because they're so backed up.

After ABC13 called to ask why it would take this long, an HPD Property and Financial Crimes Division commander said they don't typically give timeframes for when a case will be assigned. A spokesperson said the case is now getting assigned, and an investigator should reach out to the family in the next few days.

In the meantime, the daughter is losing hope the wedding ring will ever be found but wants the hospital to improve its protocols, especially for families who entrust them with the care of their loved ones.

"When you send a loved one to the emergency room or hospital, you would think that there is some sort of procedure in place for personal belongings," Kayla Josey said. "You would think it would be logged, and it would be easy for a family member to collect those items."

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