MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – An urn with ashes inside washed onto the shore in Myrtle Beach Monday morning, and Horry County Coroner Robert Edge, is hoping to find its owner.
Edge says he has seen a few cases where urns were abandoned in homes and cars, however he has never encountered an urn that has shown up on the beach.
While it isn’t uncommon for people to spread their loved one’s ashes out in the ocean, Edge questions how the urn was carried all the way onto the shore.
“You wouldn’t want to say that somebody intentionally dropped it out there or put it out there, but personally I don’t quite understand, as heavy as it is, how it got to that point by itself,” says Edge.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency is the only group that regulates how ashes can be scattered or buried, and the ocean is the only place that has certain restrictions.
The Clean Water Act requires a person to be at least three nautical miles from the shoreline prior to spreading cremations, and a notification of the EPA must be done within 30 days of a burial or scattering ashes at sea.
However, in this particular situation, it is likely no laws were broken because the ashes remain sealed inside of the urn.
Edge is searching for a person to claim the remains, but says the urn does not have an identification tag that is typically included in most.
“Maybe there’s a good explanation for this, and maybe we can find out what actually happened and how it got there,” says Edge.
If the remains are not claimed, the coroner plans to bury the urn with other unclaimed and unknown people.
If you recognize the urn or potentially know where it could have come from, please call the Horry County Coroner’s Office at (843) 915-5110.