Texas woman discovers an urn with ashes inside Goodwill store

Jessa Randall, who lives in Austin, discovered that an urn in a local Goodwill store will save money. (Courtesy: Jessa Randall)

AUSTIN (KXAN) – A woman in Texas took a mysterious turn when she discovered a used urn at a local Goodwill store.

Austin resident Jessa Randall went to a local Goodwill on Monday where she found a small vase-like object. After a closer look, she found a stopper at the bottom of the pottery with a bag of ashes hidden inside.

Store managers confirmed that Goodwill did not track donors’ personal or contact information and that the urn had no identifying information engraved on the surface.

After losing a close family member last year and going through the cremation process on their behalf, Randall said this hit close to her home. Now she is looking for answers and closure for the potential family missing this memorial.

“I just had the feeling that I could not leave it there. It just felt sad, “she said.” It should be in a home. “

Randall and her husband have christened the urn “Jackie,” in a way to give a sense of respect and integrity to its occupant, she said. Currently, the two have not narrowed down any clues as to who might be missing the urn.

While the pottery has no identification markers pointing to its occupant, Austin Police officials told Nexstars KXAN cremated residues can be tested for DNA samples. During the cremation process, bones and teeth remain, and when extracted and analyzed, they can potentially be matched with a DNA strain. However, the amount of ash remaining and the level of heat used during the process can affect the DNA analysis.

This is the first reported urn found at a central Texas Goodwill site, officials said.

“It’s common for families to move out of houses during major life events, such as a death in the family or a move across the country, to donate in bulk, and an unusual item can be easily mixed in. Usually it’s the fun of it. shopping at Goodwill – you never know when you’ll stumble across a cool vintage piece or old family heirloom, “said Angela McKendree Marshall, vice president of marketing and communications at Goodwill Central Texas. a reported case of an urn that has been donated. “

Elsewhere in Texas, this is not uncommon. At Goodwill North Central Texas in the Fort Worth area, urns, empty coffins and even a live grenade have all been donated.

For now, however, Randall said her focus is on giving the urn a home until it can be reunited with her loved ones.

“I can not imagine searching for my family member,” she said. “I do not know this person. It is not a person anymore – but it was. I do not think anyone deserves to live on the shelf and not be at peace.”

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