On a recent evening walk, I found this receipt and appraisal papers discarded in a stand of bamboo. Initially, I was intrigued by the transaction$11,500 for a 2.5-carat diamond ring with two pearls in a platinum band, size 4 1/2. Such slim fingers.

I turned over the receipt, which was tucked in a black plastic pouch from a Raleigh jewelry company. The mystery deepened: Someone had used it to blot her lipstick.

I found a photo of her online, wearing what appeared to be the ring and the same color of lipstick.

I sent back the receipt, which listed the woman’s name and address. We redacted it to protect her privacy.