Sept. 10 (UPI) -- A piece of "lost property" turned in to Florida sheriff's deputy after being found on a beach wound up being a message in a bottle that contained the ashes of a beloved family member.
The Walton County Sheriff's Office said Sgt. Paula Pendleton was on patrol Thursday when she was given a piece of "lost property" found on a Gulf of Mexico beach.
The item turned out to be a bottle containing two notes, four $1 bills and a small pouch of human ashes.
"This bottle contains the cremation ashes of my son, Brian, who suddenly and unexpectedly passed on March 9, 2019," one of the notes said. "More than anything, he longed to be free, so I'm sending him on one last adventure."
The note said Brian Mullins, of Dallas, Texas, died at age 39.
"Hi, my name is Peyton," another note said. "When my father passed, I was 14 years old. It has struck our whole family pretty hard and, so far, it has been a very hard road. But, like my granny said, he loved to be free. So, that's exactly what we are doing," she wrote.
The notes said the $4 enclosed in the bottle was meant to cover the cost of a phone call to the family to let them know where the bottle ended up.
Pendleton said she contacted the family via text message to tell them Brian's journey would continue.
"I am putting the note back into the bottle with Brian's ashes and delivering it to a friend who is a charter boat captain," she wrote. "He has offered to bring Brian way out into the Gulf so he can continue his adventure.
"But, before that, I want you to know he got to do a ride-a-long with a deputy before drifting out once again."