Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department asks social media for help identifying urn

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MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- The Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department reached out to social media for help Wednesday after an urn containing the cremains of an unknown person was brought to the coroner's office.

The Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department and Coroner's Office are trying to identify the cremains in this urn. (Photo provided by the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department)

Timothy Copenhaver spends his days maintaining the Modesto Pioneer Cemetery. The superintendent knows every tombstone and family history of those who rest there.

As Copenhaver was mowing the lawn Monday morning it didn’t take him long to notice something out of place.

“It was actually sitting right here in this spot like this,” he said, pointing to a spot under a tree.

A red metal vase was left under an oak tree. It was an urn containing someone’s ashes.

“My first thought was, ‘Oh my gosh, someone just brought a set of cremains out here and left them?’” Copenhaver recalled. “I mean who would leave their loved one sitting on the ground?”

He said he checked for a name or contact number but found nothing.

“It is not something you see every day because, by law, you’re not supposed to bring cremains and just drop them off,” he told FOX40.

So, Copenhaver brought the urn to the Stanislaus County Coroner’s Office hoping a relative would claim it.

“It would be nice to know who it is so we could actually take care of it in a proper way,” Copenhaver said. “I know a lot of people think that when somebody passes away that it’s done. But a lot of family members need that closure and they won’t get that closure unless we know exactly what we’re dealing with.”

If you know anything about the cremains, you’re urged to contact the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department or the coroner's office at 209-567-4480.

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