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Naples couple finds urn with ashes while snorkeling at the beach

Posted at 8:56 PM, Jun 05, 2024

NAPLES, Fla — A routine day of snorkeling turned into an unexpected discovery for a Naples couple when they stumbled upon an urn containing what appeared to be human ashes.

Katie Alvarez and her family were enjoying the water near 7th Avenue North when Alvarez made the discovery. She described finding a heavy container with a plastic bag and debris inside.

"I realized I don't think this is a vase," Alvarez recalled. "So I turned to my daughter, I had it next to me and I said I think I found something. And she screamed, 'Mom, that's an urn! Put it down.'"

Alvarez said they decided to secure the urn under the nearby pilings to prevent it from being taken by someone else.

"It was extremely heavy," Alvarez said.

However, when Alvarez returned with her husband and the Naples Police the following day, the urn had vanished.

"Unfortunately, due to tides, it may have washed further down," Alvarez said. "We're hoping maybe it just washed down with the tides and somebody will do the right thing if they find it."

While local regulations in Naples do not specifically address scattering ashes in the ocean, federal law requires that such activities occur at least 3 miles from land.

"I'm just hoping it turns in the right hands," Alvarez concluded.

The Naples Police Department says anyone who may come across the urn or other missing items of value may contact their non-emergency line.