Human Ashes Found Near Dan River

Danville, VA - Danville police found human ashes by the Dan River Tuesday, and they're not sure where they came from.

Police got a call just before 11:30 a.m. Tuesday to head to Memorial Drive. Someone found a box with a cremated body inside. Now, police are trying to find out exactly how it got there.

"You'd be surprised what you might run across out here," said Will Whitehead, a city employee.

Whitehead says he has seen it all having worked for the city for over a decade. But, when he stumbled upon something out of the ordinary while mowing grass, he knew exactly what to do.

"I was admiring the box really. I said it was a nice little box. I didn't think there was going to be anything in it like that," said Whitehead.

The black box contained cremated human remains, even labeled with a name and date of death.

"I read the label on there and come to find out it was a cremation or something. So I put it back, eased on back and called police," said Whitehead.

"It's not frequent to find this. We have had in the past where we found the actual the whole urn with it in it. But this is just a black box with the body in it," said Scott Eanes, from the Danville Police Department.

Danville Police can't say yet if the abandoned ashes leads to something criminal. But their first step in an investigation would be to find the family.

"We'll contact them and we'll contact the company that did the burning and then we'll find out exactly what happened at that point," said Eanes.

As for Whitehead, he also can't figure out how or why the box got next to the Dan River.

"I don't understand why would anybody throw the remains down in here," said Whitehead.

Police plan to find out if the family even knows that the ashes are missing. But Police will not release the name until the family is contacted.