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'Poop-soaked phone' rescued from national forest toilet

Aug. 27 (UPI) -- Sanitation workers cleaning out a vault toilet in the Flathead National Forest in Montana said they found a "poop-soaked phone" at the bottom of the toilet tank and were shocked to discover it still works.

Tracy Kau of A-1 Sanitation said he and his team were cleaning out the tank of the vault toilet near Holland Lake when he spotted the iPhone 11 Pro at the bottom.

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"I was kind of in shock. I was like 'Whoa, there's a phone,'" Kau told KRTV. "We tried to not just suck it up or whatever, and then we went to get the grabbers. We have some grabbers that can grab like bottles and stuff, Cody grabbed it out."

Kau and his teammates, Cody Evert and Tanner Stevenson, sanitized the phone, plugged it in and were shocked to discover it still worked.

The men said they were unable to get any information from the phone because the screen was locked, and employees at Verizon and Apple said they were unable to access the information on the device without the owner's permission.

Kau said the team was finally able to get some identifying information by popping the device's SIM card into another phone.

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They left a voicemail for the phone's owner, a Helena resident.

"When she finally called me back, I told her who I was, told her we found this phone in the Forest Service vault, and her initial reaction was, 'Well, you guys must have to pump out toilets because that's the last place I saw that phone,'" Stevenson said. "She was pretty shocked that we actually ended up retrieving the phone and that it worked enough to get her information off of it."

A-1 Sanitation said in a Facebook post that the "poop-soaked phone is on its way home."

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