Lost Ashes Come Home

Monday, April 16, 2012 - 8:28am

Woman's cremains are found months after being lost in the mail.

A package that disappeared from a Colorado postal sorting facility was discovered at a massive undeliverable mail center in Georgia and returned home last week.

Inside was an urn containing the ashes of Ann Dodge.

"It was very emotional. Everyone was very happy," Lynn Young, of Aurora, Colorado said.

Young is Dodge's daughter.

In late January, Young mailed her mother's remains from a contract post office in Sun City, Arizona.

Dodge a longtime Continental flight attendant in Denver, was to be buried alongside her husband at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver.

The date of her service passed without the urn.

A tracking number followed the package as far as a sorting center in North Denver on January 31, then it vanished.

The mailing label, torn from the package, was all that was delivered to Young.

The manager at the Atlanta lost mail facility, which receives thousands of undeliverable items a day, put a photo of the urn up as his computer desktop wallpaper - a constant reminder of the priority the Postal Service had placed on finding it.

"There is a process involved. That process worked very well and they were able to get the urn back to us," Postal Service Customer Relations Manager Lisa Rupert said. "We're so happy for the family."

Dodge's remains were interred at Fort Logan on Friday.

"It means the world to us," Young said. "This is where my mom wanted to be."

"Even more important to me because I was the one who shipped it," Young said.

She mailed the package Certified Mail.

The USPS will send a note to employees reminding them that cremated remains are to be sent via Registered or Express mail, which involve more personal handling.

The USPS is the only legal way to ship such remains.

FedEx and UPS don't accept cremated remains, and the TSA will allow them only as a carry on item and they must be removed from a metal urn.

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