New Jersey

Diamonds in the Rough: Garbagemen Find Woman's Lost Rings in NJ Landfill

“It was very overwhelming and at the end, I was happy because I did a good deed for somebody that was looking for something valuable,”

NBC Universal, Inc.

A New Jersey woman is beyond grateful to a group of garbagemen who found her lost wedding and engagement rings in a local landfill after digging in the massive pile of trash for more than an hour.

Ruth Watson-Utley of Vineland was in a panic Friday morning when she realized her rings had been put in the trash and hauled away. 

“I mean, you can’t replace it,” Watson-Utley said. 

Watson-Utley told NBC10 her 10-year-old son accidentally threw away her wallet containing the rings. The wallet, at the time, was inside a grocery bag with some other belongings. 

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“I immediately called the trash company,” Watson-Utley said. 

Word quickly spread to crews from the Atlantic County Utilities Authority. 

“I was like, ‘Alright. We got to go to the dump. Dump it,’” Jovani Quiles, a member of the Atlantic County Utilities Authority, told NBC10. 

For an hour and a half, Quiles, Ramon Nazario, Paul Deola and Alfredo Perez dug through about ten tons of trash at a New Jersey landfill. Finally, they found Watson-Utley’s precious rings. 

“It was very overwhelming and at the end, I was happy because I did a good deed for somebody that was looking for something valuable,” Quiles said. 

The crew told NBC10 if Watson-Utley hadn’t notified them so quickly, the outcome could have been different. 

“It would have been buried already so it would have been impossible for us to find it,” Nazario said. 

Watson-Utley said she tried to tip the group multiple times but they wouldn’t take the money. 

“If it was one of our wives, I would want somebody else to help as well,” Quiles said. 

Watson-Utley told NBC10 she now has a new level of respect for garbage collectors after the group went above and beyond to find her diamonds in the rough. 

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