Wedding dress blues

Seven On Your Side
May 4, 2009 2:55:55 PM PDT
The bride wore black. The reason? She thought her priceless wedding gown was gone for good. She put out an A.P.B. with the cops and called the Better Business Bureau. But nobody could help her track down the deadbeat dry cleaner that had her priceless possession. The sign atop the Freehold dry cleaner asks are you "Looking for a dry cleaner you trust?" Newlywed Fatima Calhoun found out the painful answer.

"I thought that it (my wedding dress) was gone," says the red-faced bride to 7 On Your Side's Tappy Phillips.

Fatima was married last August. She took her hand-beaded wedding gown to Carol Cleaners to preserve for future generations.

"(I thought) wow, maybe one day, I'll have a little girl and that little girl is gonna wanna wear that gown."

But, earlier this year, when Fatima went back to the cleaners to check on it the store was closed down.

"It looked like someone just cleaned the whole place out. So, of course I had a nervous breakdown right in front of the store." Who could blame her. The dry cleaner left no forwarding address or phone number. All that was left? A note from the landlord urging customers to leave messages under the door.

"I totally lost hope, especially after the police told us that there's nothing that they can do."

But 7 On Your Side was able to track down the deadbeat dry cleaner at his home. And just a day after our call, we had a surprise for Fatima. Hanging in the dry cleaner's truck, was her wedding dress, sparkling clean. "I see my dress! Now I might start crying,"

The owner's excuse? He said he only didn't have Fatima's area code. Nevertheless, the bride was blushing again after finally getting reunited with her special dress.

"I'm so excited I'm going to go to my mom's house and show her. Thank you so much."

The dry cleaner says he has two other wedding gowns in his possession. You can be sure we'll be on top of him to make sure he gets in touch with those other brides.


Story by: Tappy Phillips

Produced by: Steve Livingstone

STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Tappy Phillips