A ring found in floating wreckage from Alaska Airlines Flight 261 was headed to its owner's family in Washington state Friday after an attempt by local authorities to seize it as evidence in the investigation.
A crew member from the fishing boat Meridian was being flown by the airline to deliver the Mason's ring to the daughter of Bob and Patty Williams, a Poulsbo, Wash., couple killed when the MD-83 plunged into the Santa Barbara Channel on Monday.
The ring's return was in doubt earlier Friday when Ventura County sheriff's deputies arrived at the home of boat captain Scott Jarvis and told his wife, Mary, that she had to turn it in rather than try to send it to the Williamses' family.
"My wife called me and said they were going to arrest her if she didn't give them the ring," Jarvis said. "She wasn't giving it up _ she was that strong in her convictions."
Jarvis said that as he drove home he phoned the Sheriff's Department and someone there called off the detectives.
The department decided to allow the ring to be returned to the Williamses' family but will seek "visual documentation," perhaps pictures taken by news media.
"We are not pressing charges against Mr. Jarvis," said sheriff's spokesman Eric Nishimoto. "However, we want to emphasize that he did break the law."
Nishimoto emphasized that authorities don't want to lose any other evidence.