7 On Your Side helps rescue prized pendant down utility grate

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- It seemed like a lost cause after a precious pendant dropped down a utility grate bolted into a New York City sidewalk.

The jewelry's owner was heartbroken and frustrated her pleas for help were going nowhere. So she turned to 7 On Your Side.

In a city the size of New York, you can imagine how much stuff winds up down in the sewer through subway grates -- phones, money, wedding rings. But have you ever wondered how you get lost stuff back?

In this case, the utility took a report. But it wasn't until 7 On You Side got a look at the video that anyone responded to the case of a priceless pearl pendant that had been imprisoned under the steel sidewalk grate ever since it broke off the chain around Ashley Iser's neck.

She's only been able to look down at it for five days.

"The first day, it was totally visible," she said. "The second day, a little less so. And now we're on day five, and it's kind of barely there."

She was walking along Fulton Mall when it fell right into the holes of the Con Ed cover. She's keeps calling the utility for help, but she says they took a report but never called back.

Iser had just received the family heirloom from her mom, who surprised both her daughters by recently gifting them various pieces from a lifetime collection to enjoy.

She remembers loving the whimsical piece, a pearl glued inside a clam shell from when she was a little girl. She snapped a picture of her wearing it and sent it to her mom seconds before losing it.

It was about 4 feet down, but even if she could somehow reach it, it would be impossible to pull the shell through the holes.

So we put in our own call to Con Ed's head of communications, and -- this may be a record for 7 On Your Side -- within an hour Con Ed sent a crew.

They set up a perimeter, removed the bolts with a drill, lifted up four sections of the grate, put a ladder in the hole, and rescued the pendant.

They even washed the jewelry off before returning it to its owner.

The crew, Armond "Mac" Roher and his partner Dallas Santana, are usually dealing with gas and electric emergencies. But now, they can add pearl diving to their record.

"I'm so grateful to what you do for people," Iser said. "You're amazing. Thank you, and I thank Con Ed."

Con Ed spokesperson Michael Clendenin said he was very pleased they were able to retrieve the pendant safely. His holiday wish is that she continue to enjoy wearing it -- securely -- for many years to come.


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