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Ashes Of NH Woman’s Husband Go Missing In Mail

By Michael Rosenfield, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Michael Rosenfield Michael Rosenfield
Michael Rosenfield is the New Hampshire Bureau Chief for CBS Boston’s...
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NORTHWOOD, N.H. (CBS) — When Allison Kelley’s husband Chuck Eber suddenly passed away, she was heartbroken.

“I heard him gasping and I realized he was having a heart attack and I performed CPR but I wasn’t able to get him back,” said Kelley. “I miss him every day.”

While that grief has not gone away, she has made progress but now there is more pain. Her late husband’s ashes are missing.

“It was really like losing him all over again,” said Kelley. “I felt like I failed him because this was his wish, and it was my job, somehow it all went wrong.”

Allison had packaged up her husband’s ashes into two urns, and her postman picked up the box from her home in Northwood, New Hampshire to be delivered to Chuck’s daughter in Florida.

“And she got the box and the bottom had split open and the urns were gone,” said Kelley.

A tracking receipt shows the package’s route from New Hampshire to New Jersey to Florida but so far no answers.

“And they were very nice urns, and they may have looked valuable to someone and maybe they didn’t realize what they were,” said Kelley. “It might have just looked like a beautiful vase.”

For now Allison holds onto her husband’s ring which she wears around her neck, and some of the ashes she kept, while hoping the two other urns will turn up and the ashes can be spread where Chuck wanted to be.

“He had this fishing spot in Key West that he just said it was Heaven,” said Kelley. “And that’s where he wanted his ashes spread.”

The United States Postal Service does allow ashes to be sent in the mail, but says they must be sent via Express service or Registered. The contents must be marked on the outside of the package as well.

Kelley says she was under so much stress at the time, and regularly sends packages for work without problems, that she did not think about adding any special service to the shipment.

“We are looking into it on our end,” said Tom Rizzo, a New Hamsphire spokesman for the United States Postal Service.

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