Lost in the mail, daughter’s search for her mother’s ashes may end in court

A year later, the USPS has still not found her mother’s ashes and Amy Redford is demanding an explanation.
Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 4:51 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 2, 2021 at 2:27 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - In 2020, an Oldham County woman was devastated to learn the United States Postal Service (USPS) had lost her mother’s cremated remains.

A year later, the USPS has still not found her mother’s ashes and Amy Redford is demanding an explanation.

“I remember coming home and saying to my husband, I cannot live with this,” Redford said at her Buckner home.

After more than a year of inquiries, the tears still come easily to Redford. The stack of letters and documents on her kitchen table remind her of a frustrating and fruitless journey.

“Nobody deserves this kind of an end,” Redford said. “Because at this point I don’t know where those ashes are. They could’ve been in a dumpster. They could’ve been in a landfill somewhere.”

Redford’s mother, Catherine Mays, died at the age of 77.

As the only legal way to ship cremated human remains, Redford trusted the USPS to deliver her mother’s ashes to her sister in Jacksonville, Florida. However, Redford did not know that her sister had recently moved.

The post office said the ashes were delivered to the sister’s old address where they disappeared.

“But there was no proof that it was actually delivered,” Redford said. “The post office carrier was the one who signed for the package.”

A request for comment was sent to USPS officials in Jacksonville where the ashes were lost. There was no immediate response.

Redford said the last 14 months have produced a stack of correspondence including a letter from Senator Mitch McConnell and President Trump’s White House.

In a letter dated November 16, 2020, Nadine Munson, a USPS Government Relations Manager in Washington told Redford, “I would like to extend our deepest sympathy to you.”

Redford is currently exploring a possible lawsuit.

“And even if I never get them (the ashes) back I deserve answers,” Redford said. “I deserve some sort of an apology at least. And I deserve to know what happened.”

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