March 26, 2013 08:57:04 GMT
Billy Ray Harris meets his family members on the NBC show after losing contact for 16 years, saying, 'This was a total shock.'
Billy Ray Harris, the man who caught media attention after he returned a $4000-worth diamond ring to its owner, was finally able to reunite with his family. Harris had lost contact with his family for 16 years. "I never would've thought this. This was a total shock," he said after meeting his siblings on "Today" show Monday, March 25. The ring owner, Sarah Darling, and husband Bill Krejci were also present on the show.
"I'd been worried sick about my family since the last time I saw them. I totally lost contact with them back in the 90's. I was kind of down in the dumps, and on the verge of giving up," Harris told TODAY.com. His sister Robin Harris Williams saw him on TV after he returned Darling's diamond ring which was accidentally dropped into his beggar can on February 8.
"I knew it was my brother as soon as I saw the picture, and automatically I just started yelling," Williams said. She tried to contact Harris and told other siblings Edwin Harris, Elsie "EJ" Johnson and Nellie E. Vaughn that she found their brother. All of them met face-to-face for the first time in years on the NBC show.
Harris caused a stir in society after he returned a diamond-platinum ring which belongs to Darling. Both Harris and Darling did not realize the engagement ring was dropped into the beggar cup when she gave him some changes. A jeweler offered $4,000 for the ring, but Harris kept it with him. He returned the ring to its owner when she searched for it the next day.
Afterwards, Darling and her husband set up a fundraising site as a thankful gesture. The donation reportedly has collected more than $183,000 on Sunday. Krejci plans on closing the donation on May 15.