01:43 - Source: KTVI
12-carat diamond rings lost in 8 tons of trash

Story highlights

A trash company employee finds a 12.5-carat wedding ring in 8 tons of garbage

The $400,000 ring had accidentally been tossed out, a couple says

CNN —  

They’ve been lost and found on the beach, in the ocean and even down a baby’s throat.

But when a Missouri woman realized her wedding ring – her $400,000 wedding ring – was missing, the odds of finding it seemed awfully long.

“I just probably tossed it right in the trash,” Carla Squitieri told CNN affiliate KMOV in St. Louis.

It gets worse.

“I said ‘the trash man’s gone already,’ ” Squitieri’s husband, Bernie, said he told her. “He left five hours ago.”

Hoping against hope, the couple called their trash hauler, who told them the truck was on the way to a landfill located near where nuclear waste is stored. They wouldn’t be able to go there, the trash company said.

So the couple persuaded the company, Meridian Waste Solutions, to divert the truck to another landfill, where operations manager Joe Evans met them for the smelly and seemingly impossible search for the 12.5-carat ring.

After all, the truck was carrying eight tons of stinking, rotting garbage from 900 homes, CNN affiliate KTVI reported.

“My first thought was ‘we’re never going to find it,’ ” Evans told KMOV. “It was like finding a needle in a haystack, basically.”

But find it he did. Only a half-hour into the search, Evans found the ring in a bag of the couple’s garbage.

“I was like, ‘Yeah, I found it!’ ” Evans told KMOV. “And I took it right over to her, and I opened it up, and both pieces were just laying there. They were so grateful; who wouldn’t be, right?”

Carla Squitieri said that finding the ring was a bit like winning the lottery.

“That was my Powerball,” she said.