Metro Atlanta mom says UPS offered her $135 after losing 15-year-old son’s ashes

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. — A metro Atlanta mother said she shipped her 15-year-old son’s ashes from a local UPS store to a family member, but the package never made it.

Channel 2′s Tom Regan was in Hiram Tuesday, where Tangenika Lee said that now, it feels like she’s lost her son all over again.

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Deontray died of a fentanyl overdose in 2020. In early January, she sent his ashes to her sister, who makes customized cremation urns, in Connecticut.

Weeks passed and the ashes never arrived. They were supposed to be at her sister’s house by January 10.


Lee said corporate customer service sent her a $135 check to compensate her for the lost ashes. It’s a check she said she refuses to cash.

Lee said she shipped the ashes from the UPS store in Hiram along with some gifts. She told employees what was in the wooden box. When the ashes failed to arrive, she went back to ask what happened. She said the police also were there.

“They went back into the store and they pulled cameras from January 8th, and they told me that the package had actually left their facility, there was nothing they could do about it,” Lee said. “I just lost it, started crying.”

Lee said the ashes were last tracked to a distribution center in Connecticut. She said she plans to go there herself to look for her son’s remains.

“I cremated him so he could be right here with me, and travel and do things together,” Lee said. “And he ain’t here.”

UPS reached out to Regan and said that “with the time constraints we had to investigate, we found the content of the package was declared by the customer as ‘clothes.’ UPS does not accept shipments of human remains. We extend our deepest sympathy to the family and our heartfelt thoughts are with them during this time. Unfortunately, the package was lost.”


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