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Florida sewer workers rake through sewage to find missing wedding ring

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Updated: 7/15/2013 11:05 am
TEQUESTA, Fla -- When Tequesta's Shannon Harrigan gives her young son a bath, it can be an adventure. But this week, bath time turned into a nightmare when her ring slipped off her finger and into the drain.

Harrigan and her family recently moved to Florida from Chicago. She said Florida's humidity was making her fingers swell, so she moved her ring to her pinky finger.

"It was something that was obviously precious and priceless to me," Harrigan said.

Harrigan thought the ring was gone forever. But a few days later, a crew from the Loxahatchee River District pulled up to clean the sewer lines near Shannon's house. Harrigan told them to keep an eye out for her missing ring. Worker Ryan Robertson decided he could help, so he put his team and his equipment to work.

"It was like finding a needle in a haystack," Robertson said. "I didn't think we had a chance to find it."

All of the sand - and even sewage - the crew sucked out of the sewer lines was hauled back to their plant and dumped. Ryan grabbed a rake and started sifting through the debris. After about an hour, he was just about ready to give up.

"I was raking through the pile and I took a stroke, and it was sitting right on top of the next spot," Robertson said. "I said, 'no way did we just find this.'"

Lost then found - and then sanitized - Ryan drove the ring right back to Shannon's house.

"He pulled it out of his pocket and said 'Does it look like this?" Harrigan said. "And I started crying."

"I just know how my wife would feel if she lost hers, so I figured we'd give it the best shot we could," Robertson said.

Shannon may be new to Florida, but she says this ordeal and these people really make this place feel like home.

"I was really taken by just the kindness and the time they spent listening to the story," Harrigan said.

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