final resting place?
April 18, 2009 8:37 AM   Subscribe

Okay, my girlfriend, while walking the dog, found 3 odd boxes...

It turns out they are the cremated remains of some folks.

She had seen a local homeless guy placing them next to a neighbors trash.

They've been out all night so she picked 'em up.

one has a cemetery sticker on it, what should we do with these?

Who do we contact?
posted by Max Power to Law & Government (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
yikes...yeah, the cemetery would know what to do...some localities treat creamains as a biohazard, so the cemetery will know how to handle them. When mom died we had to sign a bunch of papers about how they had to be dealt with and what sortsof things you could do with them.

I wouldn't suggest calling the cops or anything, when I was a 9-1-1 dispatcher if someone had called with something like this, we'd have had no clue what to do.

So yeah, cemetary, mortuary, those guys will have a clue.
posted by legotech at 8:44 AM on April 18, 2009

The cemetery or the health department, whichever you can more easily get hold of by phone.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:47 AM on April 18, 2009

Maybe they've been stolen. I'd call the police.
posted by matteo at 10:34 AM on April 18, 2009

Police non-emergency line?
posted by vincele at 11:19 AM on April 18, 2009

I agree, call the police, they were likely taken during a burglery.
posted by HuronBob at 1:16 PM on April 18, 2009

Or were dumped. There was a lawsuit I remember referenced in some forensic anthropology book, where cremains were found dumped by the side of the road and the family sued. Though in that case he worked out that one (?) of the boxes found was not the person whose name was on the label, and that the funeral home was re-using the temporary cardboard storage boxes to dispose of "junk" ashes when cleaning out the ovens. So you might have found some garbage.
posted by Billegible at 8:32 PM on April 18, 2009

some localities treat creamains as a biohazard

FWIW, there's nothing dangerous in cremains. I wouldn't eat them, but...they're not poisonous. People throw out cremated remains all the time. Folks find the boxes in ditches or dumpsters and call our funeral home pretty regularly. There's no law against throwing away the last mortal remains of your loved one. If there's a funeral home name on the boxes, that's your first call. They can contact the family (but boy...that's an awkward call), and get further information. I guess it's possible that they're stolen, but that seems unlikely. I'm not sure the police would get involved. Unless they were stolen, there's no real crime.
posted by ColdChef at 9:02 PM on April 18, 2009

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