Waco’s beloved shoeshine man once returned 5 carat diamond lost at airport

Gem was worth nearly $50K, owner says
Published: May. 5, 2021 at 9:48 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Imagine losing a nearly five-carat diamond. Heartbreaking right? That’s how Elaine Schwarz-Slansky felt on a flight back home to Florida after visiting her brother 11 years ago.

“I was sitting next to this lady sort of chatting it up and she said that’s an interesting ring is it supposed to be like or is the stone missing? I looked down at it...and went oh no. The stone’s missing.” She said.

Elaine’s brother Steven is a jeweler in Waco. After everyone onboard scoured the plane for the missing gem she called him with the news. He had dropped her off at the airport so after searching his home and his car he went to Waco Regional Airport to look.

“He was on his hands and knees looking thru every crack in the sidewalk when a man approached him and said. What are you looking for? My brother said “We’re looking for a five-carat ring. The man pulled something out of his pocket and asked “Is this it?” It was my diamond.” Slansky explained.

The man who found the diamond was Robert Pearson known locally as the shoeshine man.

Pearson passed away earlier this week leaving behind a host of friends and customers who will dearly miss him.

People like banker, Sam Brown who is coordinating a fundraising drive to help pay for funeral expenses.

Pearson has no family to look after such affairs.

“He was a strong believer that got into the Word many times each day. I know if anyone wasn’t afraid to leave this earth and meet his maker it was Robert Pearson.” Brown said.

Schwarz-Slansky wanted to share her story to remind everyone that there are good people in this world and Robert Pearson was one of them.

Her family was delighted to give Pearson a one thousand dollar reward for finding the precious gem.

“It was worth close to 50 thousand dollars. He could have kept it but he didn’t. That’s because he was honest. And that’s the moral of the story.” She said.

A benefit fund has been set up for Robert Pearson’s funeral at the First National Bank of Central Texas.

Copyright 2021 KWTX. All rights reserved.