Sanitation Worker Finds Man's Remains Put On Curb By Accident

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A Richmond man's ashes may have ended up in a landfill if not for a quick-thinking sanitation worker.

Throwing out what other people don't want has been Tim Tobley's job for the last 8 years.

"We were picking up trash like wood and stuff like that," says Tobley. He says that's when he found a treasure on Monday.

"It was pretty. It was a big vase, it was pretty," described Tobley.

He said it was too pretty to trash, so he took it back to the office.

"When we looked at it more, that's when we realized it was an urn," explains Tobley. That's when he and his co-workers called the city manager.

City Manager David Evans opened the urn and discovered it was indeed filled with human remains, so it was given the Combs, Parsons, and Collins Funeral Home to keep until the owner could be found.

Police and other city workers began a frantic search, that lead them to Grace Patrick, who had no idea she'd lost the urn.

She'd just moved from a home to an apartment, and during the move, those helping her accidentally threw the urn away. But she was reunited with the urn and the remains of her loved one early Wednesday.

A grateful Patrick says she can't thank city workers enough because losing her loved one twice would have been unbearable.

"I'm just glad someone went the extra mile for me," Patrick said.

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