SEATTLE -- Sometimes people leave things behind. Sometimes it’s on purpose, sometimes by mistake. Mike Long knows this all too well.
He’s the maintenance supervisor at The Dakota at Rainier Court Apartments in Seattle.
Way in the back of an abandoned storage cage inside the building, Mike showed Q13 News where he found three urns Wednesday morning tucked away in the back corner.
The first one to catch his eye appears to be a child’s urn. On the front, the word “Saint” and the number two is engraved. Below that, the date September 1st, 1998. Beside it, what appears to be a keepsake, perhaps a baby’s first ornament, with the year 1996 on the bottom.
But information on the two larger urns provides more clues. The second urn reads: William Gerald Thomas May 7th 1940 - June 22, 2002.
The third reads: Danny T. Thomas 9/1/43 to 4/10/2008.
Three urns, two with the same last name.
“I didn’t really realize the names until I got them back down to the office and got to looking at them and that’s when I saw the names and it is, it’s a family,” says Long.
But where are their living relatives and how did these ashes get left behind?
“We’ve asked a couple tenants who have been here since the building was built in 2005 and they don’t recognize the names,” says Long.
Mike’s wife runs the front office and she’s been researching names of previous tenants, but she says none of them match the name “Thomas”.
“I’m a dad and it does make me tear up a little bit,” says Long.
Sometimes people leave things behind. Sometimes they just forget.
“I’m glad I didn’t go through here and I was actually paying attention and I didn’t haul them off and dump them,” says Long.
Mike is determined to make sure these people are remembered.
“It doesn’t belong in a cage or a dump somewhere. It belongs with family,” says Long.
We did reach out to the two Seattle crematoriums listed on two of the urns. Both told us over the phone that they could not take the urns back, nor could they release any information until speaking with a director later in the week.
If you have any information regarding these urns, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.