Remains Of Veteran Who Died From COVID-19 Lost In The Mail
By Bill Galluccio
May 30, 2020
A Montana woman is desperately searching for answers after the remains of her husband got lost in the mail. Christine Tyler and her husband Donald were celebrating their wedding anniversary with a trip to Portugal and Spain back in March when Donald contracted the coronavirus.
He was rushed to the hospital and spent days in the ICU before he died on March 19. Christine was able to secure a flight out of Spain before travel restrictions were put in place, but her husband's body was stuck in the country.
She decided to have his body cremated and planned to have his remains shipped to her home in Billings. It took almost a month before Donald's remains arrived in the United States. After they arrived at Dulles International Airport, something went wrong, and his remains went missing.
"From Dulles, he went to Chicago, and from Chicago, we have no idea where he's at," Tyler told KTVQ. "It's bizarre, and we just need him home. I mean, he's a veteran, he needs to be buried with some respect and some dignity."
Officials with the U.S. Postal Service believe his remains are in one of three postal facilities in Chicago but are unable to locate them.
"All I know is that it's a box about the size of 18 inches tall marked on three sides with orange tape. I don't know if it's cardboard or wooden. I don't know," she said.
Tyler has reached out to her elected officials for help, but so far, they have been unable to locate the box with the urn containing Donald's ashes.
Tyler said that she is making plans to hold a memorial service for her husband, who served in the Vietnam War, with or without his ashes.
"No veteran should be treated this way, number one. No remains of anyone should be treated like this, number two," she said. "And I am willing to do whatever it takes to see that that changes."