It was already past midnight when Kristen Tunno fiddled with her rings on the drive home from Pittsburgh International Airport. The four-hour flight from Las Vegas was exhausting and she was looking forward to getting some shut-eye.
But the promise of rest turned to distress when a sharp edge on one of her rings signaled something wasn't right. She used her phone's flashlight to get a better look and noticed that the marquise-shaped diamond at the center of her seven-stone band was missing.
"My life pretty much flashed before my eyes," Tunno told hosts Heather Abraham and David Highfield of CBS' Pittsburgh Today Live (PTL).
The loss was particularly devastating because the ring was a recent gift from her 99-year-old grandmother, Sarah Good.
"She gave it to me now because she wanted me to wear it while she's still alive to see it," Tunno explained on PTL.
Tunno admitted that she held out little hope that the tiny diamond would ever be found, so she went to sleep without contacting the airport authorities.
Meanwhile, her husband, Brett, alerted the airport's Customer Care unit via email.
At 6 a.m, a customer care agent named Sharon called Brett to confirm that her team would be on the lookout for the stone. While still on the call, she got a text message from fellow agent April Laukaitis who reported she had found the ring in a ladies' restroom in Concourse D, where the incoming flight from Vegas had debarked.
Tenno and her husband returned to the airport later the same day to be reunited with the special diamond.
"I couldn't be more grateful to April and Sharon, and the rest of the team of Customer Care at Pittsburgh," Tunno told the hosts of PTL.
On the airport's website, Laukaitis recounted how she arrived for her 5 a.m. shift and saw an email from Tunno's husband about the missing diamond. Within an hour, she had located it between the cracks in the tiles on one of the bathroom floors.
"When I got the email, I did think I was going to find it. It was in my mind that I'm going to find this diamond," Laukaitis told Pittsburgh's Action News 4. "That's why I dropped everything and I just ran to the bathroom near Concourse D and I started looking for it. It was early in the morning and I didn't think anybody was going to be in there sweeping or anything, or anybody was going to be using the bathroom because it was so early, so I thought I was going to find it and I did."
“I love making people happy,” Laukaitis noted on the airport's website. “There’s something about reuniting somebody with something they lost because I know how it feels to lose something sentimental.”
Laukaitis's miraculous find appropriately coincided with the airport's Customer Service Week, October 2-6.
“Our customer service staff is so dedicated to making the airport experience as comfortable and smooth as possible,” said Elise Gomez, the airport's manager of customer experience. “It’s not easy and it’s not glamorous, but it’s a critical job and our team is just phenomenal.”
Credits: Images via Facebook.com / Pittsburgh International Airport.