Corpus Christi employees found teen’s cremation ring in trash after she lost it at beach

4 rings were found after they searched 3 hours in heat

CORPUS CHRISTI – Employees with the City of Corpus Christi found a teenager’s four rings, including one that contained her father’s ashes, in the dumpster after she lost them at McGee Beach.

Emily Dickerson, 17, from Iowa, told KIII-TV that her choir team was in Texas for a trip and they performed at Six Flags Fiesta Texas before heading to Corpus Christi.

While at McGee Beach, she placed four rings of sentimental value in a Subway sandwich box before she went to the water.

One ring contained the ashes of her father, who died when she was young, and another ring was from her grandmother, she told KIII.

But at one point, the box was accidentally trashed. Emily said she didn’t realize the mistake until they were on the road back to San Antonio.

“It kind of hit me, the realization, ‘oh my gosh, I misplaced these,’ I don’t know what I did, and then I realized where I had left them, and I was a complete utter of panic,” Dickerson told KRIS-TV in Corpus Christi. “I ran to the bathroom and called my mom and told her this is the situation, I do not know what to do, I was in tears, I was a mess.”

Her mother, Tina Koch, told the stations that she called the city’s Parks and Recreation Department and asked if they could possibly find the rings in the trash.

They knew it was a long shot, but parks operation supervisor Laura Perez said they traced the trash to a four-ton dumpster and began to search — even in the heat.

“Nothing in one. So, we went to another bag and we did the same thing over and over,” Perez told KIII.

They eventually found the rings after three hours of looking.

When the city called the family to let them know, Emily said she was “ecstatic” and “in disbelief.”

“They didn’t really completely know the story behind the rings either,” Dickerson told KRIS. “They still went above and beyond to (find) that.”

See their interview in the video player above.

About the Author

Rebecca Salinas is an award-winning digital journalist who joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.

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