The sparkler was tracked down by a trio working for Turkey Creek Landfill in Texas

By Rachel DeSantis
November 07, 2019 12:09 PM

One woman’s trash happened to be her own treasure (her engagement ring!) — and thanks to a dedicated trio of landfill workers, said treasure is home safe and sound.

Nelly Cabeen, of Waxahachie, Texas, was devastated when she accidentally tossed the ring her husband used to propose to her five years ago into the trash on Friday.

“The ring meant everything to me and because of miscommunication I accidentally threw it away!” she wrote on Facebook. “I was devastated because our trash had been long gone when we realized that had happened.”

Not quite ready to give up hope, Cabeen called Karen Fuller, special waste coordinator at Turkey Creek Landfill in Alvarado, who realized that the garbage truck driver had taken an exceptionally timed lunch break that afternoon.

“That trash truck should’ve already dumped in the landfill, and it would’ve been compacted and crushed,” Fuller told KTVT.


Luckily for Cabeen, it hadn’t yet been dumped, and though there were 10 tons of trash to comb through in search of the ring, Turkey Creek employees Joseph Soto, Adolfo Calleja and Tyler Harwood were up to the task — even though it was like “finding a needle in a haystack,” said Soto.

Cabeen had dumped her trash in a gray trash bag, which helped set it apart from the others, and after just 10 minutes of searching, Calleja made the miraculous discovery.

“I opened it up, and seeing that, I tossed it over,” he told KTVT. “I caught a glimpse of a ring in there.”

With the ring tracked down, Fuller said the group gave it a good wash, snapped a photo and sent it to Cabeen for confirmation.

“She was like, ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe y’all actually found it.’ And I was like, ‘You’re not the only one, ‘cause I can’t believe we found it either,” Fuller recalled.

To express her gratitude, Cabeen wrote a letter praising the Turkey Creek employees, which she shared to Facebook.

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“I was floored they found [the ring],” she wrote. “Adolfo and Soto were a HUGE contribution to finding it. They looked through thousands of pieces of trash to find something special for someone they didn’t know. They did NOT have to do that yet they went beyond their call of duty to help and for that I am forever thankful!”

She added that she had an emotional reunion with the sparkler when it came time to pick it up.

“I went this morning to pick up my ring and they are truly good hearted people,” she wrote. “Tears shed (all mine of course lol) and smiles, hugs and laughs were exchanged.”

The workers, meanwhile, were happy to have helped, even if it meant getting their hands dirty.

“It felt good, giving somebody back something that they thought they lost forever,” Soto told KTVT.