Strangers Help Dad Get Dead Infant's Ashes Back
Urn was in a car bound for a scrap yard
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 2, 2015 1:48 PM CST
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A man who thought he'd lost the boxed ashes of his deceased infant daughter has them back thanks to the efforts of several strangers in central Ohio. WBNS-TV in Columbus reports a man processing cars bound for a scrap yard spotted the gold box sitting on a vehicle's dashboard. It was etched with the name Jeanette Byrd, along with her birth and death dates. Seth Hutchison realized what was inside: "I couldn't crush it, there's no way," he tells the station. His fiancee posted about the discovery online, inspiring Angela Jeffers to track down the girl's parents. On Wednesday, she took to Facebook to explain that she "spent hours looking for records of this child to find a death certificate with a father's name. After finding a man with the same name on Fb I debated to message him." Message him she did, ultimately reconnecting Sanford Byrd with his girl's remains.

Byrd says he thought the ashes were lost for good because the box was in his girlfriend's car when it was involved in an accident. "At the time, she didn't have her license, so they impounded the car," says Byrd. "They wouldn't allow her to get the baby, said that was property of the car." And so he lost something that he had taken "everywhere we go"; Jeanette died from SIDS at five months, and it was a "real rough journey since," he says. Writes Jeffers, "To the Byrd family I hope 2015 is much better than 2014 was for you all." That seems likely: Getting back his child's remains makes him "so happy that it hurts," says Byrd.