Hotel housekeeper Brigid Murray was going about her daily business when she uncovered a staggering surprise. She’d found a guest’s secret stash buried inside a drawer. And whoever it belonged to had no idea that it was missing.
In 2015 Tony and Betty from Ypsilanti, Michigan, were in the middle of a major move across the country. The elderly couple were relocating more than 350 miles south to the state of Kentucky. And as a result of the long distance, they had to make some stops along the way.
They enjoyed one such stopover at the Ann Arbor Regent Hotel and Suites, MI. The couple stayed there to recuperate, before continuing on their way to KY. When they departed, however, they left something very important behind.
Later that day, hotel housekeeper Brigid Murray was making her way through the rooms, ensuring that they were spick and span in anticipation of future guests. It was then that she opened a drawer and found something shocking.
In an instant, Murray knew that the bundle would have meant a lot to whoever left it behind. And thankfully she knew exactly whom those people were. It was the elderly couple in the midst of moving home. Coincidentally, she had been chatting to them that very morning.
According to Tony and Betty’s son Mark Springfield, it wasn’t until his parents reached Louisville that they realized they’d left one of their possessions behind. It was then that they rang the hotel, presumably in a frantic panic, to see if the item was still there.
But thanks to Murray, the couple’s belongings were safe and sound. After finding the item, she had taken it down to the front desk to report her discovery. And it was only then that the housekeeper realized just how valuable the object was.
The item in question was in fact Betty’s purse. As a result, Murray took it to the hotel reception so that she could note its contents with a witness. When she opened the wallet, though, she discovered what she later told WXYZ was “a lot of money.”
Just by glancing at the wad, Murray could make out a number of $100 bills. However, even then she would probably never have believed the full amount that the purse contained. Because, after counting each and every note, the housekeeper discovered a total of $11,000.
The discovery even came as a shock to Diana Hurlburt, the hotel’s director of housekeeping. While she had come across plenty of lost purses in the past, none of them had ever contained as much money as this one.
The wallet also contained an ID and a credit card. Nonetheless, it was almost certainly the cash that meant the most to the purse’s owners. As a result, it must have come as a great relief to Tony and Betty to hear that their money was safe and sound.
Soon after Murray’s discovery, Tony and Betty asked a cousin to go to the hotel and retrieve the purse. They in turn sent it on to its rightful owners. As a result, the pair no doubt counted their lucky stars to have the $11,000 returned.
According to WXYZ, Tony and Betty were carrying so much money on them because of their relocation. Firstly, they needed plenty of cash to be able to pay their mover. In addition, they also required a certain amount to help them settle in when they eventually reached their destination.
Apparently, when Betty learned that her money was safe, she cried tears of joy. And Dewayne Grann, the hotel’s general manager, could understand her relief. “Well, they knew they were missing the money, [but] they didn’t know where they were missing the money,” he told WXYZ.
To show the pair’s gratitude, Springfield later sent the hotel staff a letter on behalf of his parents. In it, he expressed his appreciation and thanked Murray for her good deed. Nonetheless, the housekeeper refused to see herself as a hero.
Speaking to WXYZ, Murray said, “I’m just glad I was able to, you know, turn it in.” Putting herself in Tony and Betty’s shoes, she added, “Can you imagine yourself? You know, you got your money. I mean, you think you have your money, until you get to your destination. Then you find you don’t even have it and don’t even remember where you left it.”
But while Murray remained modest about her actions, Hurlburt didn’t hold back in his praise of her. “Oh, she’s a wonderful employee. Excellent,” Hurlburt enthused. “I wouldn’t expect nothing less from her, because she’s just a wonderful employee.”
And Hurlburt wasn’t the only one to sing Murray’s praises. Her manager Grann also chimed in, claiming that the housekeeper personified the better side of humanity. “She is a true example of [how] the world is still a good place,” he said.
Although it was Murray who was labelled as the hero, returning the money to Tony and Betty apparently gave the whole hotel a buzz. “It’s wonderful,” Hurlburt told Mlive.com in 2015. “Finding it and returning it makes you feel so good.”
However, Murray preferred not to dwell on the past. Instead, she looked forward to the future, wishing Tony and Betty the best of luck with the new chapter in their lives. “I hope everything’s working out fine for them in their new home,” she said.