BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — This was a day Tanika Newsome could have never imagined.

“It’s almost 20 years and I thought he was where he was supposed to be,” said Newsome. Instead, the cremains of Larry Ross was among the ashes of 13 people found in a storage unit that was auctioned off in Mobile. The contents found their way to another storage unit in Baldwin County. Some of the cremations are almost three decades old.

“You don’t treat anyone like this,” said Newsome. “You don’t treat a dog like this and to do this to somebody and just put them away in stow and lock them up and throw away the key and don’t even contact anyone. It’s a disgrace, to say the least.”

Ross died of a heart attack in 2003. He was an Army veteran and worked for Bishop State until he retired. Newsome said he may have been her Uncle, but she thought of him more as a Father. Paperwork from the funeral home shows where the family paid for not only his cremation but his burial.

“Somebody needs to be held accountable for this,” said Newsome. “This is not a mistake. This was something that was very deliberately done.”

Although Newsome is angered, saddened and in disbelief, she is grateful to the woman that won the storage unit at auction. The woman, who does not want to be identified, discovered the cremains and is now trying to connect family members with their loved ones.

So far, four of the 13 cremains have been returned to family members.

The Alabama Board of Funeral Services has been made aware of the situation and said it will be up to the families to file complaints and they will investigate.

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