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Accidental ashes: Human ashes dropped off at local Goodwill

A family will be reunited with their loved ones remains after accidentally dropping them off in a dresser at the Goodwill on Timberlake Road (WSET)

CAMPBELL Co., Va. (WSET) -- Loved ones will soon be reunited with human remains that were accidentally dropped off at a Goodwill in Lynchburg.

The store on Timberlake Road gets nearly 100 donations every single day, but in the six years since Denise Keen has been working, she said this is the wildest drop off she's ever seen.

"Just disbelief it was shocking, and kind of sad at the same time," she said.

A customer came up to Keen and told her she found a temporary urn in a drawer of a dresser that she bought at Goodwill.

"At first I didn't really believe her," Keen said. "We always go through pants, pockets, purses, everything."

But, ashes in an urn seemed to be overlooked and Keen said that didn't sit well with her.

"This person that I don't know was in the office of the Goodwill and there was probably someone desperately looking for that, and worried about it," she said. "They were donated by a family member, accidentally of course."

Tharp Funeral Home in Lynchburg helped connect the ashes with the rightful owners and will return them this week.

Murrell Thornhill, IV, the funeral director, said he's happy to bring some peace to the family.

"It makes us feel good as a company, as a whole to be able to give that family some closure," he said.

Keen said she's happy that the remains will be returned to where they belong.

Tharp Funeral Home said the family has gotten in touch with them about getting the remains back, they are on vacation right now, but said they will be picking up their loved one as soon as they can.

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