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Investigators left with mystery after urn with 11-year-old's ashes found in rural area

The sealed urn is believed to contain the ashes of an 11-year-old boy. Deputies are hoping to find the rightful owner without having to break the seal (Courtesy: Richland County Sheriff's Office)

Richland County Sheriff's deputies have a mystery on their hands, as they look for the owner of a brass urn believed to contain the ashes of an 11-year-old child.

Investigators say the urn was discovered in a creek bed in Bellville, South of Mansfield, November 4th by a contractor working in the area. Since then, crime technicians have used everything from genealogy charts to online searches to find an owner, but had no luck.

"This is someone that was a human being, it doesn't matter whatever your religious beliefs" said Major Joe Masi of the Richland County Sheriff's office.

The name Casey Shaun is etched on the top of the urn, with a birth date of 1986, and date of death as 1998.

It's unclear as to whether the urn was taken from a cemetery, or stolen during a home burglary. How long it sat tucked in the remote wooded area of Richland County also remains a mystery.

"It could've been people that lived on the west coast or east coast and moved to Ohio. There are so many different scenarios, it's a puzzle to try and figure out" Masi added.

Investigators say they've had no reports of any urns or cemetery memorials stolen, and think the item may have came from another state.

Masi says the inside of the urn contains the social security number of the decedent, along with the funeral home and address where their cremation was performed, but the seal would have to be busted to get the information. He said the department will wait six weeks for more answers before taking that final step.

If you have any information, you're urged to call the Richland County Sheriff's Office at: 419-774-3563.

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