Opp resident: She’s my hero

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 23, 2015

Walmart associate finds nearly 50-year-old wedding band

To Opp resident Cheryl Graves, Walmart associate Tomicina Burnett is a hero.

Graves said this week she shopped at the Andalusia Walmart on Jan. 10, but lost her nearly 50-year-old wedding ring.

“I shopped a while and then decided to go over and eat,” she said. “I noticed my ring was loose. My instinct was to put it in my purse, but I didn’t.”

Graves said she continued her shopping, checked out and made it halfway back to Opp before realizing her wedding ring was missing.

Security footage inside Walmart showed that Graves did not have her ring on as she went through the checkout line.

Graves said Burnett suggested she call the police and do a report.

“I waited for the police to get there,” she said.

Graves said she was thankful that both Burnett and the officer believed her.

Both helped her retrace her steps through the store.

“The officer took his flashlight and looked up under things,” she said. “He took all the cookies off the shelf. Then, I remembered I looked at the sweat clothes. They took every one out. They even had people go through the entire Subway trash. There was a round clearance rack and Tomicina found it near there.”

Graves said she just knew her ring was gone.

“I found a photo on my phone of it,” she said. “Then, Tomicina asked me, ‘Could this be it?”

Graves said she will have had the ring on her hands for 50 years in June.

“It’s irreplaceable,” she said. “I tried to give Tomicina money, but she wouldn’t take it. I cannot tell you what it meant when she came up from underneath the rack and pulled it out.

“I just want Tomicina to get recognition,” she said.

“She stayed and she kept on helping me look for it. It touched my heart that she believed me. It’s obvious she takes her job seriously. She will always be a special person to me. I will never forget her kindness. She’s a hero to me.”

Walmart corporate communications confirmed Burnett is an employee of the Andalusia store, and officials said when asked about helping Graves, Burnett said she was just doing her job.