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Remains of veteran, former postal worker lost in mail delivery

Posted at 12:50 AM, Oct 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-31 10:58:19-04

INDIANAPOLIS – A veteran and retired postal worker missed his funeral after his remains were lost in the mail delivery process.

The ashes of Richard Nelson, who once served in the Navy, remain missing.

Years after leaving the military, Nelson headed for Arizona and left specific instructions to his family on how he wanted services handled following his death.

In July, the funeral home in Arizona mailed Nelson’s remains on August 1, and the tracking number stated it was to arrive in Indianapolis on August 2.

Nelson’s nephew, Scott Hare, had plans to drive the ashes to Michigan for services – but he never received the package.

The memorial service went on as scheduled and the cemetery plot next to his parents had to be refilled until further notice.

"I have to keep telling people I don't know anything, there's no closure,” said Hare.

Hare said his moments of sorrow were overcome with pride.

“At some point, I had to laugh,” said Hare. “He retired from the post office and was lost at the post office. I'm sure he's laughing somewhere.”

The post office released a statement:

“The post office offers our deepest sympathy to the Hare family for the loss of their loved one. We are keenly aware of their desire to locate the missing item as soon as possible.”