"You didn't lose a pair of gym shoes': Family contacts CBS 2 after father's cremated remains are lost in the mail
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CHICAGO (CBS) — Only on 2.

It’s hard enough losing a loved one, imagine if their ashes got lost in the mail. An Arlington Heights family said that’s the nightmare they’re dealing with. They turned to CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas for help.

“We’ll keep looking.” 

Brian McGuire wants to bury his brother Dan. The headstone is ready but Brian said the postal service lost Dan’s cremated remains and the McGuires said they haven’t even gotten an explanation.

“I’m angry. I’m hurt. You didn’t lose a pair of gym shoes. You lost the remains of a human being,” McGuire said.

The remains had been with Dan’s son Colin at Colin’s home in Los Angeles. A receipt shows Colin paid $133 on May 11 for Priority Mail Express 2-Day shipping. Colin said it even had a cremated remains label, like the one on the postal service website.”

“They don’t know if it’s at an airport, at the exchange facility, they don’t know if it ever made it to Illinois from California,” Colin McGuire said.

The McGuires wanted Dan’s remains in Illinois by May 20, so they could bury him at this family gravesite alongside Dan’s mom, who also died recently. Instead, the McGuires only buried her.

“My dad missed his burial,” said Colin McGuire. “For us to not have him and for us to not know where his remains are at. We were finally ready to lay him to rest and I would personally feel pretty awful about the entire situation if we weren’t ever able to recover him.”

“We are the only shipping company that ships cremated remains.” 

The United States Postal Service (USPS) boasts online about their ability to handle cremated remains. But Colin’s tracking history only shows the first check-in on May 11 and then a Missing Mail Search initiated on May 23.

Colin said he hasn’t gotten any more information than that, despite his daily calls to customer service. And despite this claim from USPS:

“We will provide you with world-class customer service.” 

It’s not the first time we’ve heard of cremated remains missing. Back in 2020, a family came to CBS 2 with a similar story, and then the postal service eventually found the remains.

And now the McGuires are hoping for the same outcome. 

“He was really truly my best friend.” 

CBS 2 reached out to USPS Thursday asking for an explanation. The postal service sent a statement saying:

The Postal Service always strives to provide the best possible service to our customers. In this instance, we first wish to offer our condolences to the McGuire family and a sincere apology for the unintended delay in delivering this important package. We are keenly aware of the desire to locate the parcel as soon as possible. We are committed to an ongoing search and will work to resolve this matter.

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