Akron woman desperate to get grandmother’s ashes back after they were auctioned off

Published: May. 25, 2023 at 10:36 PM EDT
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AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - Jhari Williams was heartbroken when she lost her grandmother Ruth Roberts seven months ago.

“My grandma would always say just come back come live with me,” said Williams. “She always wanted us right there. She just always made sure I had everything even if my family didn’t have it.

The Akron woman said since her grandmother passed, she’s been trying to get her ashes and her aunt’s ashes.

“I felt like a punch of my heart when they told me that they were gone because this whole time I’ve wanted them at my house, and I’ve been very upset,” said Williams. “You know my grandma passed away just seven months ago so this whole time I’m just like her ashes are not where they belong you know they belong with me so when I really was like I need them back you know that’s what I found out and just you know I just feel like I won’t feel complete until they’re back at my house and if you know I can see them.”

Then she found out the ashes were in a storage unit on Waterloo Road in Akron, but the worst part. The owner of the unit missed a payment, and it was sold.

“I just started crying I mean there was really not much to say,” she said. “I still am in awe. I’m very overwhelmed just knowing that their ashes were just floating around with whoever you know someone that doesn’t even know that they’re there, that didn’t know them. I kept saying it’s terrible enough that they’re already passed away and to know that I could possibly lose their ashes forever just made it so much harder.”

Once Williams found out, she started frantically searching for her aunt and grandma’s urn. She called Public Storage right away.

“At first, they said that there wasn’t a lot they could do. It was out of their hands, which was totally fair you know it wasn’t their fault at all.”

Then one of the workers told her she’d leave a note in the unit with her name and number and then finally on Tuesday, her first prayer was answered.

Her aunt’s urn was left at the front desk of the storage unit with a note.

“I’m doing anything I can try to get it but you know both of them back and I got the first one, so I wasn’t hopeful and now I just keep saying like my angels know where they belong,” she said.

Williams doesn’t have any way to contact the person who dropped off her aunt’s urn. She’s just hopeful that person will return her grandmother’s ashes too or that they at least know where they are.

She tells me they’re in a plain blank box from the funeral home with her grandmother’s name Ruth Robert on a white label.

Williams said she’s grateful for the person who dropped off the first urn and she’s praying they’ll bring her grandmother’s ashes too.

“Please please look through anything that you have or may be left over and just get a hold of me,” she said. “Let me know if there’s a way, I can meet up with you and get it back and if you threw it away, I’d really like to know so you know I’m just not looking.”