Woman accidentally buys an urn full of ashes from the Salvation Army

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Woman Accidentally Buys an Urn Full of Ashes from the Salvation Army

BELLEVUE, Neb. (KETV) -- A Council Bluffs woman picked up what she thought was a pretty box, which turned out to be an urn full of ashes.

Marlene Moore never expected the surprise she got from a Bellevue Salvation Army store.

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"We came across this box and I really like boxes and stuff," Moore said. "And I picked it up to check it out and everything and I couldn't get it open."

The mysterious, sealed wooden box was a $2.99 bargain find for her Monday.

"I didn't expect to find a box full of ashes," she said. "I really didn't."

A zip-lock bag of cremated remains was inside the box, with no identification except for the name Anderson on the bottom of the box.

"I kind of felt obligated to try to find this family that it belongs to and everything," Moore said. "It's the only right thing to do."

She took to social media and called funeral homes across town.

"Generally human ones aren't this small," said Dan Miller, of Good Shepherd Funeral Home.

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Directors at Good Shepherd Funeral Home confirmed that it is indeed an urn. Not 24 hours after Moore bought it from the store, the Salvation Army found out whose it was.

"If it's a wooden box, then it's my dog," Wade Anderson told KETV Newswatch 7 over the phone.

Anderson, who recently moved from Omaha to Florida, said the urn accidentally got caught in a load of items for donation on Thursday. It contains the remains of his shepherd dog, Khan, who was cremated back in 2014.

"This particular instance it was simply a box," Maj. Curtis Hartley with the Salvation Army said. "They put a price on it, put it out on a shelf, almost immediately."

Thanks to great record-keeping, Hartley says Salvation Army employees were able to figure out when the item was donated, and who it came from.

Anderson said he's grateful somebody like Moore found it.

"Many thanks," Anderson said. "I'm so lucky to have it be purchased by someone that was so thoughtful and cared enough to get it back to the right person and owner."

The Salvation Army has been in contact with Anderson. They said they're going to ship the urn back to him in Florida.

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