Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Navy SEAL's Ashes Returned After Found in Dumpster

Navy sealsConstruction worker Shane Hanna found something very peculiar in a dumpster: an urn containing human remains, marked with the logo of the Navy SEALS. "I realized this was an urn, so there’s no way I was leaving it in the dumpster," Hanna said. "Especially because it had a Navy SEAL insignia on it." Unsure what to do, he took the urn home to Lancaster, Pennsylvania and contacted the local branch of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Post 3376.

The postmaster, Dwayne Mackenzie, was able to determine that the remains belonged to veteran Ronald Lee Pruitt, and tracked down the man's sister, Barbara Dixon, who lived in Delaware, through the funeral home that cremated Pruitt. Dixon made the three hour drive to retrieve the urn.

"It is a Christmas miracle. It's a miracle that all these people went above and beyond to find me," Dixon said. She received the remains during a ceremony at the VFW honoring Pruitt's service. The Navy veteran died in 1996, and his remains had initially gone to another sister, who died a few years later.

See Amy Lieu, Navy SEAL's Ashes Returned After Found in Dumpster; Family Calls it 'Christmas Miracle': Report, Fox News, December 27, 2018.


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