By Kim Palmer
CLEVELAND (Reuters) - An Ohio woman's cremated remains have been lost in transit to her husband of 61 years, and a six-day search by the U.S. Postal Service has failed to find them, a spokesman said on Thursday.
Barbara Kirkendall, 80, died earlier in November in Cleveland and her cremated remains were sent via Priority Express Mail on Friday to her husband, Norman Kirkendall, in Columbus, Postal Service spokesman David Van Allen said.
Her remains were supposed to arrive the next day, but did not, Van Allen said. The search began on Saturday and has included neighboring postal districts and a mail recovery center in Georgia, he said.
Kirkendall's family held a funeral service without her remains on Wednesday in Canal Winchester, a town southeast of Columbus, said Matt Dixon, a funeral director at Dwayne R. Spence Funeral Home in Canal Winchester.
Kirkendall, who served in the U.S. Air Force, was to be buried with full military honors on Thursday in Dayton National Cemetery, cemetery director Michael Henshaw said. A military funeral service was held on Thursday at the cemetery, he said.
The United States Postal Service is the only shipping company that accepts cremated remains, Van Allen said, and incidents in which the remains are lost are uncommon.
“This is rare," Dixon said. "I’ve shipped a lot of remains and there have never been issues before."
(Reporting by Kim Palmer; Editing by David Bailey, Mary Wisniewski and Mohammad Zargham)