Woman says UPS lost her 15-year-old son’s ashes and gave her $135 as compensation

Dollita Okine February 02, 2024
The distraught mother disclosed that she shipped some gifts and the ashes from the UPS store in Hiram. Photo Credit: WSBTV

After shipping her son Deontray’s ashes from a nearby UPS store to a family member and the ashes never made it, Atlanta mother Tangenika Lee said she felt as if she had lost her kid all over again.

Her 15-year-old son overdosed on fentanyl in 2020, and in early January, she sent his ashes to her sister, a cremation urn maker in Connecticut, following his cremation. But weeks went by, and the ashes—which were meant to be at her sister’s residence by a certain time—never showed up. 

Lee told WSBTV “I cremated him so he could be right here with me and travel and do things together. And he ain’t here.”

The distraught mother disclosed that she shipped some gifts and the ashes from the UPS store in Hiram. She told the personnel what was inside the wooden box. When the ashes didn’t arrive, she returned to find out what had happened. The police were also present, she said.

“They went back into the store and they pulled cameras from January 8th, and they told me that the package had actually left their facility; there was nothing they could do about it. I just lost it, started crying,” she recounted. 

Corporate customer service issued her a $135 check as compensation for the misplaced ashes, but she declined to cash it, she said.

Meanwhile, Lee reported that the ashes were traceable to a distribution location in Connecticut. She stated that she intends to go there herself to look for her son’s remains.

UPS reached out to Channel 2’s Tom Regan and stated that “with the time constraints we had to investigate, we found the content of the package was declared by the customer as ‘clothes.’ UPS does not accept shipments of human remains. We extend our deepest sympathy to the family and our heartfelt thoughts are with them during this time. Unfortunately, the package was lost.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: February 2, 2024


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