Carla Squitieri woke up in a panic one Monday morning when she realized that her ring finger was naked. She normally wore her wedding rings every single day, but they were nowhere to be found. In that moment, she remembered that she had been doing dishes the evening before and had taken the rings off and placed them on a paper napkin.
She alerted her husband and went downstairs, only to realize that he had thrown the napkin into the trash…and that the trash had already come and gone for the day! The large diamond was 12.5-carats, and the wedding band was encrusted with diamonds, totaling 7-carats. Nearly $500,000 had just literally been thrown away.
They called the garbage service and were told that they couldn’t stop the truck from dumping its garbage by the supervisors on staff. This wasn’t good enough for Bernie who quickly got on the phone with the mayor! They were able to re-route the truck to a trash transfer-station instead where the Squitieris would be waiting, dressed in safety gear.
The Squitieris got to work, digging through mounds of compacted trash along with a helpful sanitation worker named Evans. Evans eventually spotted a piece of mail that had the couple’s address on it. Feeling hopeful, he took the bag to a clear spot on the ground and dumped it out. After a bit of rummaging, he saw the sparkling diamond in a paper towel!
Carla was so relieved! It wasn’t about the money, she wanted him to know. It was a sentimental piece that she planned to pass down to her only daughter. It was that emotional attachment to the piece that gave them the will to dig through piles and piles of garbage to find it.
Evans walked away with the Squitieris’ gratitude and a reward of $500!