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Postal inspectors working with Marion County man to find mother's lost ashes

Daniel Smith said he has contacted anyone he can since June, with little to no response, and he's not sure what to do next.

INDIANAPOLIS — A Marion County man mourning the loss of his mother still has not received her ashes in the mail, several months later. Since 13Investigates reported on the story, the United States Postal Inspection Service is now involved.

Daniel Smith said he has contacted anyone he can with little to no response, and he's not sure what to do.

It's been three months since Smith was supposed to receive the ashes of his late mother, Christine Jacobs, through USPS.

This package was one of five going from Phoenix to Indy on June 30. His is the only one that didn't make it, despite being tagged as human remains. 

"I need to make it my mission to make sure somebody is able to find and locate and return it to me because it's mine. It should be home," Smith said.

Following 13News' story in July, Smith found out that Jacob's ashes could be in a FedEx facility in Memphis, but he still hasn't been able to facilitate with anyone to get them in his possession. 

"So, I'm sitting here with an unknown Memphis package that possibly is her remains," Smith said.

He's upset by the lack of accountability and communication. 

"Do I think I'm going to get it? I hope so, but honestly my next step is to contact a law firm because FedEx is a private company. So, you can't sue USPS for lost parcels, but you can get FedEx. So, I'm going to try and keep them accountable, but no I'm not giving up," Smith said.

Like Smith, 13News reached out to the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and FedEx. 

The Office of Inspector General confirmed the ashes were in the possession of FedEx in Memphis when they went missing.

Credit: Daniel Smith
Daniel Smith (L) is working with U.S. Postal inspectors to locate the cremains of his mother, Christine Jacobs (M).

Postal Inspector Susan Link in Memphis told 13 News, "I can verify the United States Postal Inspection Service has been in contact with the victim on several different occasions and is working with FedEx to locate this package. At this time, we have no additional information."

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