B.C. woman's jewelry flushed by toddler turns up, 3 years later
Nick Wells, CTVNews.ca
Published Thursday, March 10, 2016 6:56AM EST
Dani Jacobsen was giving her two-year-old son a bath at their home in Salmon Arm, B.C. three years ago, when she decided to err on the side of caution and take off her jewelry.
She took off a pair of diamond earrings, an engagement ring and wedding band, a diamond pendant and a third ring – before washing her son.
After the bath, she went to go put her pieces back on, only to discover all of them missing.
She and her husband combed through the house and garbage cans, thinking they may have been picked up by accident.
However, the culprit was sitting right in front of them.
The Jacobsen's checked with their son Cohen, who revealed he had flushed the jewelry down the toilet.
"We asked Cohen if he had seen it, and he took us to the toilet and he told us that he had 'flushed mommy's pretties'," Jacobsen said.
"At first we didn't want to believe him… Our hearts just sank. We thought 'oh my goodness, what are we going to do?' We kind of went into recovery mode after that."
They searched the toilet -- breaking it during their bid to recover the sentimental pieces -- and dismantled the pipes directly below the toilet in a bid to retrieve the lost pieces.
With no sign of the collection, they called a septic service to go through their septic tank.
"We had that tank just shining by the time we were done there, I rinsed it all down and there was nothing in there," said Jake Starnyski, the serviceman who handled the job.
The family ended up moving to Nanaimo but kept the house in Salmon Arm to rent out.
Three years later, the Jacobsens had decided to sell the home but to help place it on the market, the septic tank needed to be pumped out.
They turned to Starnyski to clean out the tank, who remembered the story of the lost jewelry.
"I do hundreds and hundreds of tanks a year …I do remember most of them, but this one really stuck in my heart," he said.
He took some extra time to search through the tank in the hope of finding the lost valuables.
"I didn't even need a flashlight, it just showed up with the necklace wrapped around the ring," he said. "And I was ecstatic."
Jacobsen says she couldn't stop thanking him when Starnyski called to let her know about turning up her jewelry.
"I just thanked him over and over again," she said. "I was so full of gratitude knowing he had taken the time to look again. I was very, very happy… he's my hero."
Cohen, the instigator of the long running treasure hunt, has now grown out of his desire to flush valuables down the toilet. However, Jacobsen says the whole family has learned a valuable lesson.
"We don't leave valuables around either of them anymore – especially in the bathroom," she said.
With files from CTV Vancouver