ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) — An Albuquerque woman’s trip to the car wash recently turned into a search for a needle in a haystack. She lost her wedding ring, and when the manager found out, he went to great lengths to find it.

It is something you can’t replace. “It is something that you pick out together and work towards getting together,” Leanne Van Amburg said. “It is the ring you get married with.”

For Leanne, she thought hers was gone for good. “I just had these envisions of dumpster diving,” Leanne said.

It all started Monday evening when Leanne and her husband Scott went to Champion Xpress for a car wash. Leanne took her wedding ring off so she could reach something that had fallen between the seat and forgot about it. Then, Scott unknowingly vacuumed the ring right up. “I came in here just vacuuming away, not paying attention,” Scott said. “I was a little angry,” Leanne laughed.

Leanne did not realize it was gone until several hours later. “I was immediately sick to my stomach,” Leanne said. “The thought that came through my head after that was, ‘I guess I start saving for another ring,’” Scott added.

Leanne called the carwash first thing Tuesday morning and talked to manager Richard Martinez. “He said that he would look through all of his filters,” Leanne said.

Martinez went through six filters and more than a dozen pounds of trash. “There was a lot of change, pens, gum, candy and lint,” Martinez said.

Then, Martinez found the diamond in the rough. “At the very last filter I went through, I found her wedding ring,” Martinez said.

Leanne zoomed over to get it right away. “She went home crying because she didn’t think she would see the ring again,” Martinez said.

Then, Leanne told Scott the news. “She came into the office and said ‘stand up. I want to punch you in the face,’” Scott recalled. “She had lifted her hand, her left hand, and there the ring was.”

The couple said they are beyond thankful to have Leanne’s ring returned. “The sentimental value of certain things, you just cannot replace,” Leanne said.

Martinez said they empty the filters every night, and if not, the very next day, so the ring was very close to ending up in the dumpster. The couple said they plan to take Martinez out to dinner to thank him.