The coroner intervened with the Postal Inspector on my behalf in an effort to expedite the necessary paper work, which I appreciated. He put it plainly. “What if the decedent wanted to be buried in a certain cemetery? And what if those instructions and the necessary funds for that request were in the box?”
The Postal Inspector found cause for an order and issued it right away.
A quick check of the decedents’ bank statement left no indication that she was a woman of wealth. There was probably enough money to pay any outstanding utility bills but not much of anything else.
I admit, I found myself suddenly hoping that I was going to find something in the box that would allow for at least a proper burial.
I drove back to Cut and Shoot. I was a little smug when I walked in with the order. The snot-nosed supervisor was cooperative but I could tell that he still had a chip on his shoulder from the day before. I also knew that he was only doing his job but I reasoned that he should have been a little more congenial and a little less acerbic.
Per the order, he opened the glass doors and I went in with the key. I tried every box in row S, with the numbers 35 but the key didn’t open any of them. The next thing I asked him to do was a random check of her name. Nothing was found.
I don’t know who had the most satisfied smirk on their face when I was getting ready to leave. I was feeling superior because I felt I had essentially won the power struggle. He was feeling superior because I hadn’t found what I was looking for. I did however, offer a handshake and thanks for his cooperation before I left.
The next stop was Bone Marrow. I was greeted by a jolly woman who through a broad, toothless smile said “what can I do for you darlin’?” As I handed her the order, I gave her my spiel about rows and keys and numbers. “Well, let’s see what we have here,” she said. “Looks like we have two boxes rented in row S.”
“What are the numbers?” I asked. She said “number 1 and number 2.” That wasn’t going to help me so I asked her to look up the womans’ name. “Nope. No record of her having a box here,” she said. I thanked her and told her to have a nice day. “Sorry I couldn’t help you, darlin’,” she said. “You might try Cut and Shoot, just a ways up the road.” I smiled and said “thanks.”
Loafers’ Glory was next. As my daddy used to say, “it was the same old seven and six.” I had them check for her name just in case but there was no record of her having a box, or ever having had one. As I was leaving, the Postmaster said “you might want to check Bone Marrow or Cut and Shoot and you might check Lonelyville. They’re all located within twenty miles or so around this area.” Again, I smiled and said “thanks.”
It was getting late and I knew I wasn’t going to have time to visit the last stop on my list. I had already made a mental note that if I didn’t find anything in Lonelyville the next day, I was going to call it quits. I wondered why I was even going to bother but I had made a personal commitment and I was going to follow through.
I called the coroner and asked if he could extend the three day limit. He told me that he could hold her for one more day, due to my “phantom investigation” but for me to remember. “The state has rules and regulations governing the disposition of unclaimed bodies and I am bound by law to adhere to them.”
To be continued_____________