BAYVILLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A mysterious urn was discovered in the sand along the Jersey Shore.
Now, the people who found it are trying to find out who it belongs to.
Gary Hunt and his dog, Zoey, often go off the beaten path into Berkeley Island Park to get some fresh air and take in the peaceful sound of the waves.
“People walk the shoreline, they walk the beach every day looking for treasures,” the Bayville resident told CBS2’s Meg Baker.
Gary spotted something shiny in the reeds.
“If I see something shiny or brightly colored, I’m going to investigate,” Gary said.
Unsure of what the rounded, gold item was, he brought it home and placed it in the garden. That’s when his wife, Eileen, noticed it outside their house.
“He’s always bringing something home,” she said.
Upon further examination, it was an urn – remnants of a label barely visible, a red plug on the bottom.
The couple thinks maybe someone was trying to spread the ashes in the Barnegat Bay.
“Whoever died, if that was their request, you’re supposed to take the ashes out of the urn,” Gary said. “But maybe somebody didn’t realize that.”
Eileen’s theory is that it washed up from Superstorm Sandy. The whole area was underwater.
“Everything was flooded. There were boats into houses,” she said.
She posted pictures of the urn on Facebook, hoping to reconnect the remains with loved ones.
Now, there may be a match, Baker reported. A woman contacted Eileen, saying an urn just like that one was stolen from her Toms River home in 1992. Inside were the remains of her first dog.
She plans to see the urn in person next week to confirm if it belongs to her.
In the meantime, Berkeley Township Police have the urn for safekeeping.
The Federal Clean Water Act requires that cremated remains be scattered at least three nautical miles from land. If the container will not easily decompose, it must be disposed of separately.