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Human ashes in letter to mayor shuts down St. Joseph city hall

Posted at 5:29 PM, Jul 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-08 18:35:49-04

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Officials in a northwestern Missouri city say a letter filled with a white, granular substance that spurred an evacuation contained human ashes.

St. Joseph spokeswoman Mary Robertson said the city finance department evacuated Monday after a staffer opened the letter and saw a bag filled with a white substance inside. The envelope was addressed to the mayor and had been cut open and re-taped shut.

Robertson says once emergency officials were able to safely open the envelope, they found a letter explaining that it contained the ashes of a former resident who died last year and had wanted her ashes to be spread around City Hall.

Hazmat officials confirmed the substance was human ashes.

Robertson says she's not sure if the ashes will be spread at City Hall.