GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (April 8, 2014) – The remains of someone’s spouse, parent, sibling, or friend – found in an urn in the snow.
The Grand Rapids Police Department say they’ve never dealt with anything like this before. They weren’t even sure what to do with the urn when it was brought to them, but Lieutenant Pat Merrill is dedicated to finding its rightful owner.
“This is a person who was important to someone,” Merrill said. “This is a person who was a mother or a father or a son or a daughter, and that respect transfers very quickly.”
Lance Zaagman of Zaagman Memorial Chapel says he believes the remains are human. He brought the urn to Merrill after a 17-year-old boy found it in the snow near Berwyck Road and Woodlawn Avenue on the city’s southeast side.
“We were hoping that that tag was in the cremaines and it wasn’t, so there’s no way now to identify and check who the cremains belong to,” Zaagman said.
It’s standard cremation practice to put a tag in the cremains with an identification number and the name of the funeral home it’s from.
Zaagman checked with all nearby funeral homes. None of them say they sell this particular teardrop-shaped urn.
There are no markings on the urn – no serial number or inscription. It does appear there may have been a plaque or something else fixed to the front at one time.
The bottom of the urn has a sticker that reads: “Made in India for Elegant Brass Inc. Copyright 2009.”
Lt. Merrill hopes someone will come forward to claim their loved one.
Regardless, he says the urn will be handled appropriately and with respect.
“Just helping someone for the sake of helping someone,” Merrill said. “We`re not looking for a crime. There`s no criminal to catch here, no person to put in prison.”
“We`re just trying to help someone.”
If the urn belongs to you or you know who it may belong to, call the Grand Rapids Police Department’s Detective Unit at (616) 456-3380.