Carroll, a 45 year-old Australian art teacher, lost the nine-diamond encrusted gold ring sometime on Sunday while giving painting lessons to her students at the New York Battery Park. She only realized that she lost something very important when she woke up at the middle of the night on Monday.
“At 3:30 on Monday morning I woke up and felt my left hand right away and just thought, ‘Oh, my God,’ because I knew I hadn’t taken my wedding ring off,” she said
in an interview. “I didn’t have one doubt in mind that it was down in Battery Park.”
Carroll said that she got out of bed and got dressed immediately, trying not to wake up her husband. This was the second time that she actually lost her wedding ring. Her husband gave her the diamond ring for their 10th wedding anniversary.
Carroll's husband eventually woke up as she was making her way out of their house. She admitted that she lost her ring at the park and that she will ask a police escort to help her with the search. "You can't go alone. Are you crazy?" her husband said.
The couple arrived at the Battery Park by 4:15 a.m. and found themselves searching through the whole day's bags of trash. By around 5 a.m., they were about to give up with the search, when they saw a city truck parked just around the corner. She decided to leave a note asking the driver to help her find the ring.
“Hello, I believe my wedding ring is in this truck…. It is 5 a.m. and I came down to the park to look for it…. Please call me to tell me where the truck is going. I will come ASAP” she said in part in the note
Gary Gaddist, a city parks department worker, was working overtime on his day off driving on a smaller NYC park truck. The couple decided to move the note on the other truck, with Carroll saying that she had '...a feeling that would be the truck (with her lost ring).'
Gaddist, who has worked for the city park department for 12 years, found the note at 7:30 am and called Carroll. She explained everything including the description and the contents of the clear plastic bag she used for her painting class the previous day.
“I had to go to Randalls Island, and... I showed the guys the note ( I found on my truck),” Gaddist said
. "My co-workers said...'if you want to look for a needle in a haystack, go ahead.'"
Carroll said that she already thought of the task as 'monstrous and that it would seem be impossible' that Gaddist would find it. She said that she already thought of filing a claim on the wedding ring's insurance policy.
Forty-five minutes later, around 8:30 a.m., her phone rang again. It was Gaddist calling back, saying "‘I think I found the ring." Gaddist found the clear plastic bag as described by Carroll. He said that it didn't took him long to find the one with the clear plastic garbage bag inside. “I took a shot and it was there” he said.
Carroll, already in tears of joy, informed her husband that she will have her wedding ring back. She said the first thing she did after getting out of the cab in Battery Park to meet Gaddist, was that she gave him a big hug while repeatedly saying '...thank you, thank you so much'.
The Carrolls gave Gaddist a $100 reward, in which the 42-year old city park worker said he used 'to treat himself to lunch.' Gaddist later said in an interview that Carroll sounded like a nice person and he could tell the couple loves each other very much and that he's just glad that he could help.