Unbroken Circle

updated 02/04/2002 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/04/2002 01:00AM

Actress Donna Dixon and gallery owner Nuala Boylan both felt a shudder of recognition when they saw a Jan. 15 New York Post photo spread of personal objects recovered from the ruins of the World Trade Center. Amid ID cards and still-ticking watches sat a silver ring with a gold cross. The two women owned identical rings—as did actress-photographer Berry Berenson, who died at age 53 aboard American Airlines Flight 11 when hijackers crashed the plane into the north tower. "I think it's a miracle," Boylan, 59, told the Post, adding that Berenson (sister of actress Marisa, widow of actor Tony Perkins) had given her the band, made by Los Angeles designer Loree Rodkin, to celebrate their friendship.

Each Berenson buddy asked about claiming the ring—Boylan by calling the paper and Dixon, 45, wife of actor Dan Aykroyd, by phoning the police. "We can't just hand it over," says New York Police Department spokesman Lt. Brian Burke. "It would be the family's property." That's fine by Boylan, who is godmother to Berenson's younger son Elvis Perkins, 25. She reportedly hopes the ring goes to Elvis and his brother Osgood, 27. For now, the ring's fate remains uncertain and its identity unproved. But for those Berenson left behind, it sends a comforting message. "She's telling her family and friends that she's watching over them," says a longtime pal, producer Howard Rosen-man, 57. "She's saying, 'I'm not gone. I'm okay.' "

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