CHINO HILLS, Calif. — The engagement ring on Yana Glass’ finger is back where it belongs thanks to a keen-eyed Southern California public works crew.
In March 2022, Glass’ 5-year-old son flushed her engagement ring down the toilet.
“That morning we are laying in bed I hear him get up,” said Yana’s now-husband John Glass.
He recalled his soon-to-be stepson doing something unusual soon after.
“I heard him flush the toilet and I turned to him and said, ‘Well, that’s odd. He never flushed the toilet, you know, he’s 5 years old,” said John. “I thought that was so weird.”
Hours later, the “crime” was discovered after the boy confessed to his misdeed.
“It was in the bathroom, it was shiny, he wanted to look at it, dropped it and didn’t want to tell us and thought the best thing to do with this was to flush it down and hide the crime,” said Yana.
The couple immediately tried to retrieve the engagement ring.
“My initial reaction was I went to the toilet, I turned off the water, I basically took the toilet off the flange and started looking, hoping maybe it got caught somewhere,” said John.
Unable to spot the ring in the pipe, the couple rented a plumber camera in hopes of locating it.
“A couple of hours into it, we saw the ring in the pipe. It was shining there, laying down, then we started calling the plumbers,” said Yana.
Unfortunately, the two plumbers told the couple they couldn’t get the ring without doing major damage to the home.
That’s when the couple called the city of Chino Hills Public Works Department for help.
However, after flushing their sewer lines, they also could not dislodge the ring.
The couple ultimately moved on. They bought a new ring and got married two months later.
Then, they got the ultimate surprise.
Fourteen months after it was flushed, the ring reemerged more than 400 feet from the Glass’ home by a public works crew performing routine maintenance on the sewer line.
“He’s hydro-jetting and I am with a screen looking at the debris coming and told him, ‘Chris! Chris! Stop! Stop the water because I think the ring is there,” said Chino Hills Public Works employee Tony Ochoa.
Ochoa remembered the couple and their lost ring from last year when he and his team attempted to retrieve it.
“I was like, ‘No way, we found it! We’re going to give it back to them,'” said Christopher Sambrano, another public works employee.
Before returning the ring to the Glass family, the public works department had the ring thoroughly sanitized.
“I am so, so grateful to the guys for remembering about us for their dedication and hard work and kindness because if it wasn’t for them, we would not have it,” said Yana.
As for the couple’s son – who is now 6 – he’s also glad the ring has been found, but he’ll likely never live down the story of the time he flushed his mother’s engagement ring down the toilet.
“I plan to tell this story at his wedding someday,” said his stepfather.