Unidentified remains found in popcorn tin

Friday, July 27, 2007 | 2:07 p.m. CDT; updated 3:41 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 5, 2008

MONETT — Monett police have a strange mystery on their hands.

Police said Thursday they are trying to determine the identity of cremated remains in a popcorn tin that ended up in front of a home in the southwest Missouri town.

Police are asking the public for help in identifying the ashes and finding whoever lost — or dumped — the remains. A man mowing the front lawn of his home on July 12 made the discovery and called police.

Officers took the ashes to a local funeral home for verification, but found no clues about the occupant’s identity.

Officers did learn, though, that they might have only part of the remains.

“Normally, there are more ashes there,” said Bonnie Witt-Schulte, spokeswoman for the Monett Police Department. “This could be a partial.”

The officers also sifted through the ashes looking for a chip or disk or anything amid the remains that might identify the occupant, a relative or even a funeral home that might have handled the remains. Again, nothing was found.

The ashes also aren’t in their original container.

Usually they come in a tin container, Witt-Schulte said, but not these.

“It’s a popcorn tin,” she said.

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