It was a needle in the haystack or rather, a ring hidden amid trash piles.
For Jackie Cacace of Staten Island, New York, the thought of finding one of her most treasured possessions – a teal-colored butterfly ring – seemed nearly impossible after she took out the trash last Monday morning and realized what she had done.
“It was striking fear going through my body, being upset with myself that I accidentally tossed this ring in the trash,” Cacace recalled to “Good Morning America.”
Cacace said a special person in her life gave the ring to her after a vacation last June. She thought it was gone forever.
“It came from Aruba on a trip with family and friends,” Cacace said. “The person that gave it to me loved me very much and that means a lot to me. And I didn't want to lose that.”
Cacace initially wasn’t sure what to do but her father suggested looking for the sanitation truck that had driven by her home. So Cacace got in her car and quickly found the truck.
- 2February 21, 2020
- 3December 2, 2018
“I approached them with tears in my eyes, trembling hands, trying my best to explain what transpired. I'm sure my words made absolutely no sense to them,” Cacace recounted. “The two men in the truck – Anthony and Mo – [were] very empathetic, trying their best to calm me down.”
The two sanitation workers called their supervisor and that set off a chain of events, including pulling the truck off its scheduled route. By Tuesday evening, after a surprisingly brief 15-minute search, sanitation workers with New York’s sanitation department had located the colorful ring.
“[Peter Mauro] was the sanitation worker that found that bag,” Cacace said. “At that point, tears were flowing down my face. And I gave Pete the biggest hug, so grateful for him.”
Mauro told ABC News station WABC that he was happy to help.
"She was really upset when she came in, but we were able to get it done. We found it and she was really happy," Mauro said.
Cacace said she is “forever grateful” for the efforts of the multiple sanitation workers who took time to help her. She even wrote a Facebook post about it, posting on the social media site for the first time in years.
“They didn't need to do this for me. They could have easily said, ‘I'm sorry. It was a mistake. It's lost. There's no way we can find it’ and I would just go home crying. That was not the case here,” she said.