Woman grateful to utility workers for finding mother’s stolen ashes

Woman grateful to utility workers for finding mother’s stolen ashes

Two communication line locators find jewelry and ashes Monday near Fort Saskatchewan

By Natasha Riebe, CBC News | Posted: Aug 02, 2017 3:18 PM MT | Last Updated: Aug 03, 2017 9:38 AM MT

A woman’s ashes are back in the hands of her family after a series of coincidences and good will of two utility workers.

Lois Gordon said she’s indebted to the two line locators who found her mother’s ashes in tall grass on the side of the road Monday near Fort Saskatchewan.

“You can’t imagine our relief and gratitude,” Gordon told CBC News.

Mary Annie Myers’ ashes, along with several pieces of jewelry, were stolen from her home in Strathcona County on July 8. Myers died in May at age 91.

Two locators, Betsy Davis and Vicki Paquette, were sweeping for communication lines when they spotted a box and jewelry in the grass. The items appeared to have been thrown away, they said.

“We noticed that there was a broken box in front of Vicki and a whole bunch of necklaces and stuff in front of me,” Davis said.

They also found Myers’ will with a lawyer’s name and phone number. They called the lawyer who in turn, put them in touch with Gordon.

Gordon asked them if they’d found a box in a green velvet bag which contained her mother’s ashes.

The women searched the grass once more.

“And the bag, because it was green, completely matched with the grass. We probably walked over the box a couple of times,” Paquette said.

Gordon and her sister arranged to meet the locators on the side of Range Road 212.

“She handed the ashes back to us and all of the jewelry,” Gordon said. “It is an astounding thing that two female locators whose expertise is locating, actually found our mother and returned her to us.”

Davis and Paquette said it was an emotional meeting.

“I’m so glad that they’re all united,” Davis said.

“If these women had not taken the time to look  — and really a steep ditch, long wet grass — we’d never have found them,” Gordon said. “It was a miraculous thing.”

Gordon said the situation has restored her faith in humanity.

“I’ve always said if we could get the chest out of the clutches of this vile human, and somewhere else.

“I knew that everyone would jump tall buildings to get her back to us. And that’s exactly how it turned out.”

The family intends to inter Myers’ remains Wednesday.

The RCMP were looking for a suspect believed to be in his early 20s with a round face and black hair with a brush cut.

Gordon had seen the suspect drive away from her late mother’s home July 8 after hearing an alarm go off.

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