A startling revelation has emerged as over 450 cremated bodies have been reported lost in the mail, some dating back as far as eight years. The United States Postal Service (USPS) is now faced with the challenge of ensuring these ashes reach their intended recipients.
Currently, the postal service is the only legal method for shipping cremated remains, including those of both humans and animals. However, 452 packages have failed to reach their destinations and are now stored in the USPS’s lost package depot.
Strict guidelines govern the shipment of cremated remains. Each package must bear a large orange sticker and be shipped through Priority Mail Express. However, a recent report from the USPS Office of Inspector General reveals that compliance with these regulations is only observed between 28% and 50% of the time, potentially contributing to the large number of missing packages.
Issues such as illegible addresses and misplacement of labels further compound the problem of missing packages. According to the report, as of February 27, 2023, the Mail Recovery Center held 452 undeliverable and/or unidentifiable cremated remains packages, with the oldest package having been there since February 24, 2015.
The USPS’s Mail Recovery Center is diligently working to find a resolution for delivering these undeliverable and/or damaged cremated remains packages. The agency is grappling with the task of rectifying this unfortunate situation and ensuring that the ashes find their way to their final destinations.