A once anonymous English couple who lost an engagement ring down a Times Square utility grate thanked the New York Police Department for finding it.

John Drennan and Daniella Anthony tweeted how happy and grateful they were that officers found the ring, which they thought had been lost for good.

The NYPD had been looking for them since Sunday, after getting the ring out of the grate. He proposed to her in Central Park and she said it slipped off her finger and fell into the Times Square grate on Saturday.

"I was devastated," Anthony told the New York Times. "I was literally crying. It was the worst moment of my life." They asked for help, but police officers were initially unsuccessful at getting the ring out and the couple left for England without leaving their names or contact information. Drennan even bought a second ring shortly after arriving at the airport.

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NYPD officers continued their search and finally located the ring on top of the rubbish about 2.5m underground. In an effort to identify the anonymous couple, the NYPD put out a video message on social media showing them searching for the ring before police had arrived. Drennan is seen on his stomach peering through the grate.

Drennan told the newspaper they had planned to keep the lost ring a secret, but a friend forwarded him the police Twitter message. Drennan then called New York police.

- AP