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Woman finds ashes in thrift store jar

HOUSTON – You might expect a loved one to rest in peace in a quiet cemetery. Not at a resale store.

Bridget Cochran said she was shopping at a thrift shop in Houston when she found what she first thought might be a cookie jar or a piggy bank.  But it was hard to open. 

When he did open it she said, "I pulled the paper out and I'm sure the look of horror on my face was priceless because we were covered at this point in what we didn't know at that time was ashes."

Inside she found a paper with the name of Mr. Peter John Morel. He died on January 27, 2011. She felt a responsibility to return him to his family. She said she paid the $6.00 and took it home.

"The minute I read his obituary, this peace just kind of came over me and I said, I've got an Army vet here," Cochran said.  "He deserves so much respect." 

She also found that the ashes were those of a husband, a father, grandfather and great grandfather. She brought his remains inside. 

"He spent Veteran's Day on a resale store shelf.   It just broke my heart."

She located his family about 850 miles away in Orlando, Florida. Morel's wife told KPRC 2 that she thought she dumped all of her husband's ashes into the ocean. She said she then donated the urn to charity. Cochran said there was no question.  There were still ashes inside the urn.

"I'd like to get him home for the holidays so he can be with his loved ones," Cochran said.