Teen finds human ashes near vacant house, woman says they belong to her sister

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A curious Kansas City teen stumbles on what he calls a "disturbing discovery" in the driveway of an abandoned house. Turns out it was more than just your average package.

Ilijah Farley, 15, was walking in a Kansas City neighborhood Sunday afternoon when something outside a vacant house caught his eye.

“I was walking up the hill after going to get something to eat and I just saw this box sitting right here,” said Farley.

He thought it was odd that a closed cardboard box was sitting so close to the street in the driveway of the boarded up vacant house, located at 5441 East 27th Terrace near Oakley Avenue. The curious seventh grader opened the box and inside saw a plastic bag filled with ashes.

"It wasn't dented or anything. It was just like they just sat it there. I mean I don't think it fell out of a car or anything," said Farley. "It's upsetting that someone just left it there. I mean an abandoned house?"

The teen wheeled the box of ashes home in his red wagon and showed them to his mom.

"I didn't know what to think," said Farley’s mom, Kimberly. "It's not trash. It doesn't belong in the trash."

Kimberly Farley took cellphone pictures of the bag of ashes, the box and a name tag, which had the name "Tina Manning" on it; a name that her and her son did not recognize.

Tina Manning, Photo Credit: Tanya Thomas

Tina Manning, Photo Credit: Tanya Thomas

"You'd be shocked what you find outside, inside these abandoned homes,” said Kimberly.

"It's a mystery because no one knows who it is,” said Farley.

Police want to know how long the ashes have been there, who left them in the driveway and what the connection to Tina Manning is.

Farley was convinced the ashes belonged to a person because his grandfather was cremated.

"That's like your relative dying and you just leave them on a sidewalk," said Farley.

A spokesperson for the Jackson County Medical Examiner's Office says it will work to confirm that the ashes are human.

Later on Sunday, a woman named Tanya Thomas told FOX 4 the remains belonged to her sister, Tina Manning, who she says died six years ago from Leukemia at the age of 42. Thomas says the ashes were stolen from her home two days ago.

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  • LB

    I’m glad they were returned to the rightful family. It is a horrible feeling when ashes from a deceased become missing. My boyfriend is unable to locate his mother’s ashes. I don’t know much of the story of the whereabouts, except that perhaps a relative lost or misplaced them. It is hard for me to see him feel this emptiness of his mothers whereabouts, and it’s hard for me to imagine what I will be having to explain to our son one day. Good job Elijah! May God Bless You.

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