Urn necklace found at Va. gas station to be returned to rightful owner

Man searching for owner of urn necklace found at Va. gas station

CAROLINE CO., Va. (WWBT) - An urn necklace found at a gas station will be returned to its rightful owner.

A Virginia woman who lives in the area says it’s her mother in the urn.

Mary, the rightful owner, says her daughter called her after seeing the story on NBC12.

Mary will soon be meeting with Dustin Cornell, the man who found the necklace, at the gas station to retrieve it.

The Caroline Supermarket and Gas station on Ladysmith Road is where many people come to fill up and get supplies.

“Right there on the ground as I was getting in the truck and it caught my eye, and I picked it up and I knew what it was,” Dustin Cornell said.

Cornell went to fill up his truck around July 4, not knowing he would leave with more than gas.

"It’s pretty heavy so it’s something you would notice rapidly or quick,” Cornell said.

What he found was a small silver urn necklace containing someones ashes, laying on the ground.

“A brother, a sister, a mother, a father and this might be the only thing they have left,” Cornell said.

The necklace was found at a gas station in Caroline County.
The necklace was found at a gas station in Caroline County. (Source: NBC12)

“It was special for someone to put it in a necklace and wear it around their chest and wear it close to their heart. That’s where it should be,” Cornell said.

Even though Dustin doesn’t know who is inside, he carries them with him.

"It rides right up here with me, so I can see it and know where it’s at and I don’t lose it,” Cornell said.

Every day and every trip, it’s a tribute to the life loss.

“I see it and look at it, and it reminds me not to stop and hopefully, one day, I find the owner,” Cornell said.

It’s a reminder of his own struggles with grief after losing his mother and child.

“I lost my first born (was) still born, so I know what it’s like to lose something,” Cornell said.

Dustin’s turned to social media to help reunite with the family, but so far, no luck.

“I had one person who thought it was hers but it turned out it wasn’t,” Cornell said.

His mission isn’t slowing down.

“It’s the right thing to do,” Cornell said.

If he never finds the right family, Dustin says he will give whoever it is, a forever home.

“I would want someone to do the same for me,” Cornell said.

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