A lifeguard discovered an urn in the sands of Myrtle Beach on Monday, but there was no identification inside the mother-of-pearl-rimmed container linking it to the remains within, according to Horry County Coroner Robert Edge.
This is the first time an urn has been found on the beach along Horry County, Edge said. Myrtle Beach police recovered the urn at 31st Avenue North and it was taken to the coroner’s office.
“It’s a mystery how it got there and who it is,” Edge said, adding he’s never seen a similar urn before and wonders if it’s from another country.
The urn — with a gold and pearl-like design — could have washed up, Edge said, and had likely been released into the ocean before washing ashore in Myrtle Beach. The urn weighs about 15 pounds and is solid brass, he said.
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Ashes were still inside when it was found but there was no ID, Edge said, adding most funeral homes in the area will put ashes wrapped in plastic inside urns along with some way to identify the remains. There’s no scientific way to figure out whose ashes are inside.
“Once a body is cremated, there’s no DNA,” Edge said. “We’ll put it in our care with other people who haven’t been claimed.”
He said the coroner’s office hopes someone will recognize the urn and come to claim it.
Edge said people have found urns around the county in the last few years, including one dropped off at Goodwill and another on the side of the road by a pile of trash.
There are now 24 unclaimed cremated bodies at the coroner’s office, including three with no names.
The coroner’s office and a local girl scout troop has teamed together to bury people who are unclaimed. Edge said if the urn is unclaimed, it’ll be buried with others.
Hannah Strong: 843-444-1765, @HannahLStrong