NC man finds 5 boxes of cremated pet remains in Cape Fear River

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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Finding little treasures buried in the sand is pretty normal but discovering cremated pet remains is quite unusual.

Brady Semmel took his WaveRunner to an island in the Cape Fear River to see what treasures he could find on Dec. 29, 2018. That day he came upon a small box with a ornate design on top. This led him to believe it was a jewelry box, until he found four additional boxes. They all had stickers on them, each with a different name and a cremation service sticker on it.

“It was a weird find, I found the first box and that one did have a sticker on it with a name and figured out right away. At first I thought it was jewelry box, it’s very ornate, then I realized it was pet remains,” said Semmel. “To see the one I was like ‘okay where did this come from?’ and then I started finding more I’m like there’s something more behind this when you find five boxes at one time.”

He tried to call the cremation services only find that they are no longer in business. Semmel’s wife Dana posted pictures of the boxes on Facebook in hopes to find the owner.

“Within 24 hours she got a response of the posting someone who worked at the old cremation place. She was able to contact the local vet in the Greensboro area and gave them the names of the pets that were on the bottom of the boxes. They were able to look through their records, find the owner, and then they contacted the owner,” Semmel says.

The owner used to live in Greensboro but now lives in a nursing home in Virginia. She told her brother to disperse the pet remains in the ocean but says their was miscommunication.

Semmel still has the ashes and is waiting for a response from the owner on what she wants him to do with them.

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