An Oklahoma man, Gary McIninch, died tragically in a Fourth of July accident in 2013 after another boater slammed into the family’s pontoon boat. When Gary’s body was recovered from the water, all items on his person, including a custom gold wedding ring, were held by the medical examiner’s office as evidence for police. After the items were processed, Linda made numerous requests for the ring to be returned. However, no one from the ME’s office would return her calls. Finally, after nearly two years attempting to obtain the band with a priceless sentimental value, she received a letter from the medical examiner’s office noting they had “destroyed” the ring. Linda is now demanding answers.
According to KFOR, the deadly boating accident took place on Lake Eufaula on July 4, 2013. The McInich family was on a pontoon boat watching the fireworks show when a ski boat without lights plowed into the boat going approximately 30 mph. Gary was thrown from the boat and killed. The boater responsible for the accident fled the scene before turning himself in four days later. Gary’s body was not found and recovered for two days. Meanwhile, Linda was attempting to cope with being a widow and missing her husband “more than anything in this world.”
KOTV reports that when Gary’s body was recovered from the water, all the items on his body were secured by the medical examiner’s office as “evidence” in the hit-and-run boating accident. Items collected from Gary’s body included clothing, keys, a pocket knife and a “white metal ring.” However, Linda says that was no ordinary “white metal ring.” Linda notes that the ring was a specially-made custom wedding ring made of gold the pair had purchased. Therefore, Linda was adamant about having the ring returned to her possession as it was priceless to her. However, each time she tried to secure the ring, she was given the run around by the medical examiner’s office.
The widow would try for two years to get the office to turn the ring back over to her. Finally, in a desperate attempt to have the sentimental piece returned, she contacted KOTV for assistance. After numerous letters, phone calls, and words with the office, Linda was told the ring had been “destroyed.” However, the story doesn’t end here. Reports indicate that at least two weeks before the items were “destroyed,” police had sent paperwork to the ME office requesting all items be returned to Gary’s “next of kin.”
“Documents dated August 25th, 2014 – 13 days before the ring was destroyed – show Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lieutenant Brian Hale check marked and underlined the section that says, ‘items no longer needed as evidence, return to decedent’s next of kin.’ So, why did someone at the ME’s office later write on that same document, ‘evidence destroyed September 8th, 2014 at 10:45 a.m. by Investigator Dale Gross.'”
Linda says she thinks foul play was at hand and that someone stole the ring a long time ago and was forced to cover their tracks when the DA’s office sent a letter to the ME demanding the items be returned. Linda says she is not going to forget about the ring and knows that one day, the person responsible will someday get what is coming to them.
“I think somebody took that ring way back when and they’ve given me the runaround for over a year because they didn’t want to tell me. I think they thought I would eventually give up and forget about it. I’m not forgetting about it, that’s my husband’s wedding ring. They’re gonna get it one way or another, whether they go to jail or God gets ’em in the end, somehow, someway, they’re going to get it, because they took something from somebody else that was not theirs.”
[Image Credit: Facebook/ Linda McIninch]