JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A Midtown woman thought her engagement ring was gone forever when it accidentally ended up on the trash – but with a little luck and dirty hands, her fiancé found a glimmer in the garbage.
As CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, every night, Ashlee Palacio – who is convinced she has obsessive-compulsive disorder – follows the same bedtime routine. She places her engagement ring is a special tray on her nightstand.
But on Monday, she broke routine and fell asleep on her fiancé’s side, with her ring on.
“I take it off, I put it right here, you know, and go right back to bed,” she said.
Half asleep, Palacio unknowingly set the three-karat diamond ring next to some Halloween candy wrappers. And while cleaning up Tuesday morning, she accidentally threw it out with the trash.
Her future husband, Mike Diamond – yes, that is his name – could not believe it.
“My first reaction was, ‘Are you kidding?!’” Diamond said. “I thought she was joking around with me.”
Neither was laughing when they realized a garbage truck had already picked up their trash. Diamond quickly called the city Department of Sanitation.
“As soon as they get the phone call, they freeze the truck so it can’t dump,” said Department of Sanitation supervisor Louis Guglielmetti.’
The Sanitation Department tracked down the truck carrying their garbage to a waste transfer facility in Jersey City. The one thing the couple had going for them was that their apartment building was the last on the truck’s collection route.
Thus, their garbage bag would be among the first to roll off the truck.
On Wednesday night, while Palacio was stuck at work, Diamond and three others – including Palacio’s best friend Brittany – got suited up to tear through the garbage. They kept Palacio updated with Snapchat videos.
“The truck came in and just dumped over a hundred bags just on the floor — and looking at it and throwing up from the smell as well, I thought it was going to be impossible to find,” Diamond said.
But they knew their garbage bag was white with black ties and had candy wrappers and a Halloween cookie box inside. After just 15 minutes, they found the couple’s bag and tore it open.
“I happened to see like something glowing, and I said, you know, ‘I think that’s it!’” Diamond said.
The ring was found. The unbelievable news was delivered to Palacio via Snapchat.
“It’s them saying, ‘That’s the ring!’ And I’m like, ‘Oh my God!’ I’m like hysterical crying,” Palacio said.
“Super glue is our first step to helping the ring stay on,” Diamond quipped.
Palacio said she is eternally grateful to her fiancé and everyone who made the remarkable recovery.