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A woman dropped her diamond ring down the toilet. 13 years later, it was found in the pipes

AYESHA RASCOE, HOST:

Mary Strand got a lovely present from her husband, Dave, for their 33rd wedding anniversary - a diamond ring. It was loose, but she figured she'd get it resized later. And then it fell off at a really bad time.

MARY STRAND: I was washing my hands in the bathroom, and I reached over to flush the toilet. And at the same time, the ring went down into the toilet.

RASCOE: Oh, no. But Strand's family is in the perfect line of work for this kind of thing. They run a drain-cleaning business. Her husband and son rushed in with all the right equipment.

STRAND: They ran a camera down the line 200 feet, and they couldn't see anything. And then they went and talked to the three guys at the city to see if they'd go down and check the screens to see if it was caught up in the screens. And it wasn't.

RASCOE: The ring was gone. She felt terrible.

STRAND: You know when you do something wrong, and you get that ugly feeling in your stomach? That's what it was.

RASCOE: That was 13 years ago. This spring, employees at the local sewer system noticed a little sparkle while cleaning out sludge from a pipe just a few blocks from Mary Strand's house. You guessed it - it was a diamond ring. Hundreds of people got in touch with the sewer system saying it might be theirs, including Strand.

STRAND: The gentleman I spoke with said, can you describe the ring? And I said, I'm so embarrassed. I can't. This is the killer - he goes, no, just tell me what it looked like. And I said, no, no, I know the definition of this crime. I just can't remember what it looked like. I said, it's been so many years.

RASCOE: Turns out Mary Strand had a few old photos showing that ring on her finger. The sewer district returned the ring, a little bent but still sparkling.

STRAND: The moral is don't count anything out. Your luck can change.

RASCOE: And you know the saying - diamonds are forever.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE HOLLYWOOD STAR ORCHESTRA'S "MAIN TITLE - (FROM 'DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER')") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Ayesha Rascoe is a White House correspondent for NPR. She is currently covering her third presidential administration. Rascoe's White House coverage has included a number of high profile foreign trips, including President Trump's 2019 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, Vietnam, and President Obama's final NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland in 2016. As a part of the White House team, she's also a regular on the NPR Politics Podcast.
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