Hotel Employee Recovers Guest’s Wedding Ring In Compactor At The Drake Hotel

This information originated in American English.

May 02, 2013

CHICAGO - A $15,000 wedding ring was returned to a guest after being retrieved by a team member at The Drake Hotel from five tons of garbage in the hotel's trash compactor.

"It feels amazing to have it back on my finger," said the giddy Jodi Eastgate while showing off the wedding ring she feared she would never see again.

Eastgate had taken it off the night before, and in the rush of checking out Sunday morning, she forgot to put it back on. It wasn't until 15 minutes later that she realized it wasn't on her finger. She rushed back up to her room, thinking she might have knocked the ring into a Cheesecake Factory bag by the bed, but the room had already been cleaned.

She described feeling sick and being in tears when the family departed the hotel for the airport. Once at Midway International Airport, Eastgate couldn't bring herself to leave. Her husband and daughter boarded their flight home, and she headed back to The Drake in hopes there still might be a chance of finding her ring.

Back at The Drake, it was confirmed that the Cheesecake Factory bag from her room was already in the hotel's trash compactor, and couldn't be searched safely until Monday. Hank Hawerbier, director of operations at The Drake said, "I thought it was worse than finding a needle in a haystack, and a lot messier."

Once the compactor was disconnected, Hawerbier asked staff member David Lyons to help search for the ring. Lyons agreed and suited up, but after three hours, hope started fading. Eastgate took a step away and just moments later when she returned, Lyons had started finding pieces of everything Eastgate said might be found in their hotel room trash, including the Cheesecake Factory bag with the ring inside. Lyons took the ring out of the bag and handed it to Eastgate, who immediately put the ring in its rightful -place back on her ring finger- and as of a week later, she still hasn't taken the wedding ring off.

Media can access additional information about The Drake Hotel at

About The Drake Hotel
Since 1920, The Drake has remained committed to its distinguished service and historic traditions. Located on Chicago's Magnificent Mile, The Drake Hotel offers 535 guest rooms and five on-site dining facilities. For more information about The Drake and its history, visit


Alicia Schindle
The Drake Hotel
+1 312 932 4327

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