NC couple loses wedding ring, road worker unknowingly throws out bag it was in

A North Carolina couple lost the wife's wedding ring while on an eight-hour road trip. Sadly, a road worker threw the duffle bag, which contained the ring, away after it was destroyed on the highway. (WFMY/Fred Carr)

CAROLINA BEACH, N.C. (WFMY) — WFMY News 2 first caught wind of this crazy story by a tweet, from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT).

WFMY contacted DOT officials right away to find out who had lost their duffel bag and what was in it. It sounded sentimental.

And it sure was.

Fred Carr says he's been married to Nanette for 39 years. Nanette's wedding ring was in the bag, along with a diamond necklace.

"We were both pretty sick about it," Fred said. "They were both so sentimental and valuable but in the big scheme of things, no one was hurt. It's just a loss, a sad loss — especially around Christmas."

How did they lose it?

The Carr's were traveling from Durham to Chattanooga on I-40 West — which is about an eight-hour drive. They made a pit stop in Davie County.

"We stopped at the Davie County rest area and let the dog out, and when [Nanette] did, she set the bag on the back of the pickup truck, and we proceeded to drive off with it on the back of the pickup truck."

Fred said the ring was in the bag and not on her ring finger because they were doing some work on their daughter's new house that day.

"We didn’t discover [the bag was missing] until closer to Asheville — which is about three hours away."

The Carr's called in all the reinforcement they could think of.

"We contacted the state trooper who was sitting there running radar on the side of the freeway," Fred stated. "The State Trooper contacted the Davie County supervisor, who actually sent a car to look for it and ran all the way to the Iredell County line."

That's not all.

"Our daughter activated social media. We contacted the NCDOT and county maintenance in several of the surrounding counties," Fred said.

The efforts weren't wasted. The bag was FOUND. That's like finding a needle in a haystack on an hours-long highway drive.

"[My daughter] called Iredell County, and the supervisor turned and asked one of his men about the bag, and one of the men who happened to be sitting in his office at the time said 'yes I do remember it,' and we have a picture of the bag, and he identified it ."

But, this story still doesn't have the happy ending everyone hoped for.

"A maintenance worker in Iredell County closer to Statesville actually found the bag on the freeway. It had been run over and smooshed and contents spilled everywhere," Fred explained. "He disposed of it in his orange trash bag."

Fred doesn't blame the worker at all because he was just doing his job.

But it meant that beautiful wedding ring that was buried at the bottom of the bag is now buried at the bottom of a landfill.

"In an orange trash bag in a sea of orange trash bags," Fred added.

It may not be happy holiday ending, but the Carrs say they'll settle for some Christmas closure.

"We just didn't find it, but somebody did, and we know who did," Fred said. "We know what happened to it, so there is some closure."

Fred stressed how thankful he is to everyone who pitched in to help find their bag.

"They were all super about trying to track it down, and we really appreciate the support of all the Department of Transportation employees and the Highway Patrol in North Carolina," Fred said. "It's been pretty amazing. I don’t know if it’s the Christmas spirit or if they’re always that way, but we certainly appreciate it."

The Carrs say they have insurance on the wedding ring, but again, it was a sentimental loss.

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