Postal service loses woman's ashes

July 29, 2010 at 10:59 AM
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CHICAGO, July 29 (UPI) -- The U.S. Postal Service lost the cremated remains of an elderly former Chicago woman and family members are distraught, relatives said.

Mabel Bink, 89, died on June 18 of congestive heart failure in Mesa, Ariz., and her cremains were lost in shipment between Phoenix and Chicago, the Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday.

"It's like it's in limbo," said her granddaughter, Beth Biancalana, 42, of Barrington, Ill. "I feel like I've had no closure in all of this."

Bink's ashes were to arrive in Chicago July 19, in time for her funeral on July 23. But they never arrived. Postal records show the shipment was processed in Phoenix and arrived at O'Hare International Airport earlier this month.

"Everybody is still on high alert for it," said Regina Armstrong, of the U.S. Postal Service's local Consumer Affairs Office. "My heart goes out to the family. I wish they could have some closure."

Biancalana said the family didn't want the cremation in the first place, but that it would have been too expensive to have Bink's body shipped to Chicago for burial.

Shipped with the remains in a 20-pound package was a family heirloom, a locket Biancalana's grandfather gave her grandmother when they were dating.

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