Store owner unites woman with lost ashes using Craigslist

A small plastic bag of ashes, marked with a woman's name, was left on the counter of Charlie...

A small plastic bag of ashes, marked with a woman's name, was left on the counter of Charlie Nguyen's liquor store in Wichita, Kansas. (KSN.com screengrab)

Kevin Murphy, Reuters

, Last Updated: 6:03 PM ET

People turn to Craigslist for lots of reasons but rarely to find the rightful owner of human remains.

Charlie Nguyen wanted to know who left a small plastic bag of ashes, marked with a woman's name, on the counter of his liquor store in Wichita, Kansas. He posted an ad on Craigslist after putting a sign in his store window for two weeks, to no avail.

"It was the only way I could get people's attention," said Nguyen, a Vietnamese immigrant who has owned Charlies' Liquor and Smoke Shop for five years.

On Thursday morning, a woman came to the store to claim the ashes, Nguyen said. It was the deceased woman's daughter, whose son left the bag of ashes on the counter after removing it from his pocket to get change for a purchase, Nguyen said.

The Craigslist ad was spotted by local television reporters, who aired stories. The deceased woman's daughter saw the coverage and went to the store with a marked box of her mother's ashes to verify her rightful ownership, Nguyen said. She did not say how the bag of ashes got separated from the box, he said.

The woman was tearful when she picked up the ashes at the store, and so was Nguyen, he said.

"I'm a happy man," Nguyen said. "I just wanted to do the right thing."


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