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Greenville dry cleaning business fails to give back wedding dress after it closes

Posted at 8:54 PM, Aug 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-25 22:13:35-04

GREENVILLE, Mich.—A West Michigan woman went to the cleaners to get a wedding dress cleaned, and then one day when she went to check on the status of the cleaning, the store had closed.

“I kept going in and the owner kept saying she was working on it. Next thing you know, they are closed,” said Sonya Trevino who brought the wedding dress to Gay’s Cleaners in Greenville.

Gay’s Cleaners has been closed for nearly a year now, and the number they left for people to call has a full voice mailbox, and no one has been answering.

Trevino brought in the wedding dress to get cleaned for her boyfriend’s daughter, Katie Pierzchala. Pierzchala’s mother had died of cancer three years ago. Trevino was hoping to get the dress cleaned and preserved for Pierzchala for her wedding day. The process to clean and preserve a wedding dress can sometimes take up to a year, but now Trevino is unsure if they’ll ever get the dress back.

“I believe it would be very special to a little girl to have that from her mom after her mom passed. My mom passed away so I know what I would feel like to have something special like that preserved and then be able to use it one day,” said Trevino.

One day Trevino went to Gay’s Cleaners to check on the dress, and no one was there. There was just a sign in the window with a number to reach them by if you had any clothing left there. Trevino says they never mentioned to her they were closing during all the times she came in to check on the cleaning of the wedding dress.

Fox 17 News called the number several times. There was no answer, and the voice mailbox was full like Trevino had told us.

Fox 17’s Cassandra Arsenault talked to the West Michigan Better Business Bureau who confirmed Gay’s Cleaners was closed, and the owners were Ken and Ruth Lubben. However, the number the BBB had on record was disconnected. The county clerk wasn’t even aware the business itself had shut down, although they confirmed their license did expire. Fox 17 News went to the Lubben’s home to see if they could tell us where the wedding dress was located, but there was no answer.

Fox 17’s Cassandra Arsenault did get ahold of the building’s owner, Gaylord Hansen. Hansen said the Lubben’s owned the cleaners for 21 years. Hansen believes business was not going as well as it used to, so they quit the business.

Trevino has spent the last 12 months trying to get the wedding dress back with no luck. She is worried that Pierzchala will never be able to have one of her mom’s only possessions that she left behind.

“I’m just thinking that she would just like that one day from her mother. I’m sure that would be special, and now she’s probably thinking what happened to my mother’s dress?”

The BBB said the family could contact the sheriff’s department. They said  it’s not uncommon for them to assist with something like that.