BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (WIVT) – A student at Binghamton University in New York received a shocking package in the mail this week: a heavily damaged box containing human remains destined for someone else.
The student, who identified herself only as “B.A.,” came home to her apartment on Tuesday night to find the mangled box had been delivered by FedEx earlier that day.
On it was a label with her name and address. The tracking number also matched that of an Apple charger she was expecting to be delivered on Wednesday. But on the box, she saw stickers indicating that the package contained cremated remains.
There were also labels from the United States Postal Service showing that the package had been mailed from a funeral home to a family in Auburn, New York. Through a tear in the box, B.A. could see that the urn inside had broken and ashes were spilling out of the package.
She was ultimately able to contact the family in Auburn who had been waiting eight days for the remains of their sister to arrive. They made arrangements to come and pick them up on Friday.
B.A says the entire experience terrified her.
“It’s not OK and I don’t wish for this to happen to anyone else. It’s not an experience that anyone should experience. It’s very traumatic. And I hope today when this family comes, we can both find closure for this incident,” B.A. said Friday. B.A. added that she’s had trouble sleeping due to the ordeal, and is seeking counseling.
She now hopes that someone is held responsible for the disrespectful way in which the remains were handled.
A spokesperson with the United States Postal Service issued a statement in response to the mix-up, promising to investigate.
“First and foremost, the Postal Service offers our deepest condolences to the family and we are grateful to hear the package was returned to them,” reads the statement from USPS.
“Let me assure you that the Postal Service does its utmost to ensure these packages are handled properly and with respect. In the very rare instance a package of this sensitive nature is found to be misdelivered, we will reach out to our shipping partners, our own staff, and funeral provider to investigate.”
As of Friday, B.A. had still has not received her Apple charger.