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Mystery powder that shut down Florida mall was woman's ashes

Oct. 17, 2013 at 3:47 PM

SARASOTA, Fla., Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Police in Florida said a mall was temporarily shut down when a man threw a handful of a mysterious power that turned out to be his fiancee's cremated ashes.

Sarasota Police spokeswoman Genevieve Judge said the Southgate Mall in Sarasota was shut down for more than two hours Tuesday while 25 police officers and 10 fire trucks investigated the powdery substance thrown into a LensCrafters by a man whose name was not released, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported Thursday.

Judge said investigators determined the substance was the ashes of the man's late fiancee.

"He walked into LensCrafters with the ashes of his deceased fiancee, threw a handful into the store and left," Judge said. "He had no idea what he had done. She passed away not long ago."

"He's not facing any charges," Judge said. "We're offering grief counseling. As far as the mall and the fire department goes -- I don't believe we're going to be charging."

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