Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Bottle with Texas Man's Ashes Returned to Gulf of Mexico After Washing Up on Florida Beach

BottleA beachgoer near Miramar Beach in Florida came upon an interesting item in the sand. The person took the find - a clear plastic bottle containing four dollar bills, handwritten notes and some ashes - and gave it to Sgt. Paula Pendleton of the Walton County Sheriff's Office. When she opened up the bottle she discovered that the ashes belonged to Brian Mullins, a tow truck driver from Garland, Texas, who died earlier this year at age 39. The notes were from loved ones wishing Brian well on his adventure.

Pendleton, who had lost her husband last year, said she was overcome with emotion as she sat in her squad car reading the carefully written letters, which contained the phone numbers of the man's family. The dollar bills were placed in the bottle by Brian's mother, Darlene Mullins, to pay for the phone calls she hoped people would make to update her family on the bottle's journey. Darlene said that Brian loved fishing but never got the chance to go ocean fishing. The family could not afford to take the bottle to the sea themselves, so they had a relative bound for Florida take it in early August.

The officer knew that this could not be the end of Brian's adventure. Pendleton enlisted an acquaintance who owns a charter boat to ferry the ashes far off the Florida coast. And on Friday, the bottle, the dollar bills and the ashes of Brian were again at sea to continue on his adventure.

See Bottle with Texas Man's Ashes Returned to Gulf of Mexico After Washing Up on Florida Beach, Fox News, September 8, 2019.

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