TIGARD, Ore. -- Five weeks ago, utility workers in Tigard came across a custom wedding ring that still has not been claimed – so city officials have devised a series of clues to help solve the mystery without giving away the prize.
The City of Tigard has been very careful not to show the ring or describe it in too great of detail, laying the burden of proof upon the ring’s owner. Several KGW viewers have called in hopes that their wedding ring had been found, but city officials said Wednesday morning that no one had yet provided enough detailed information as to the where the ring was lost.
Ed Leniger, a senior utility worker, said helping to identify the owner “was a moral decision.”
Leniger was using a very powerful vacuum truck to unclog a sewer line, much like any other day on the job, when to his amazement he saw the ring, a much customized, and very unique ring with “lots of diamonds.”
Tigard Public Works administrators were keeping the ring hidden in an envelope in order to filter any false claims.
“(The owner) ought to be able to tell us what it looked like. It had to come through a drain either off the sink or from a toilet,” Leniger said.
The utility worker said he was surprised he even saw the ring as he offloaded 900 gallons of gunk from the sewage truck. He acknowledged that he would have made a lot of money if he’d “pocketed it.”
“I went through that scenario in my head and I was like, well, let's do the right thing and turn it in,” he said.
City officials said they were impressed with Leniger’s moral fortitude.
“I'm sure there are folks out there that would think if I'm willing to pick this up out of sewage then I ought to be able to keep it,” said Brian Rager with City of Tigard Public Works Department. “We're just hoping there could be a happy ending and I'd like to see Ed give the ring to the person it belongs to.”
Leniger said he’d take pleasure in seeing the ring’s owner walk out “with a smile on their face, saying, ‘I got it back.’”
The ring was valued at thousands of dollars – a sum Leniger said he was willing to pass up in exchange for the opportunity to bring joy to another person.
The ring must be described in detail in order to retrieve it from Tigard Public Works officials. The owner also must be able to explain how and where the ring may have been lost.