The Vancouver Police Department is looking for the rightful owner of a briefcase-shaped urn that might have been accidentally donated to a local Goodwill store. An employee of the store’s branch on NE Fourth Plain Boulevard found the urn with two letter M’s that stood for Michelle Miller. In a tweet, the authorities provided a number that the public may call with leads.
An individual replied to the tweet linking an article about a Royal City woman named Michelle Miller who passed away in 2013 because of colon cancer. Described as “one of the community-doers” because of her volunteering efforts, a fundraiser took place for the education of Miller’s two sons.
Goodwill has a procedure in place when urns end up in processing centers. Store spokesperson Dale Emanuel said via KVAL that it’s important to reunite the urns with families because they’re “personal to a lot of people.”
Stories of urns being found in piles of donated household items aren’t new to the renowned thrift store chain. In June 2017, Yelm Goodwill workers were sorting miscellaneous goods when they discovered a sealed brass urn. The date on the urn even indicates that it was probably sealed in the 1990s.
While many of the urns contain ashes of pets, some have actual cremated human remains that were mistakenly left behind during estate sales. Goodwill reminds donors to carefully go through the contents of the boxes that they will donate.
That same month, employees of an Ohio Goodwill store found a realistic-looking bunch of “play money” inside a duffel bag. The store normally sees a few hundred dollars stuffed in jean pockets or purses, but that day, the workers discovered that the bills weren’t actually fake and amounted to a staggering $97,004.
The staff called the phone number on the receipt and sought the police department’s help in tracking the owners. They were eventually connected to the couple, who were fortunate to have met honest employees.
According to the Consumerist, the owners were in the middle of moving to a new home and had their car’s trunk filled with goods to be donated to Goodwill. The husband happened to withdraw the cash, which he was supposed to deposit in a new bank.
Prior to the incident, the largest amount of cash found at a Goodwill store was $43,000 hidden in a suit.