WINDHAM, N.H. (AP) - A celery stalk sighting and a little luck came together to help a New Hampshire man find his wife's wedding rings in a 20-ton trash trailer, the jewelry wrapped in a napkin he had accidentally thrown away.
Kevin Butler had taken the trash to a transfer station in Windham last Wednesday. Unwittingly, he had tossed the napkin into the white trash bag, not realizing his wife had cleaned the rings and wrapped them in the napkin to dry.
Several hours later, he returned and asked for help in finding the rings amid the piles of garbage.
"He said, 'I'm pretty sure I threw the rings out,'" Dennis Senibaldi, the transfer station supervisor, said Tuesday.
Senibaldi and his crew reviewed surveillance video to see what time Butler first showed up at the transfer station and where he threw it out. They used an excavator to start scooping up trash from the trailer.
After about five or six scoops, they saw a white bag with a telltale clue.
"One of the things he said was (inside) was celery stalks, and I could see a celery stalk sticking out the side of the bag," Senibaldi said.
They started going through the bag, but there was no sign of the rings.
But at the very bottom, underneath some carrot or sweet potato peelings, there was a napkin. "Literally, I opened up the napkin, there were the two rings," Senibaldi said.
Butler jumped up and hugged Senibaldi.
"I wouldn't recommend doing that," Butler told WMUR-TV of searching through the trash, "but to get the rings back, I would do it a thousand times over."