LINCOLN COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- It took two years, but three wooden boxes containing cremated remains were finally turned over to relatives, after being abandoned in a storage unit.
"Anytime we can have a positive ending, especially in this type of work it's the best," said Lincoln County Coroner Ryan Parker.
After being appointed to the position of county coroner, Parker recently learned about the three sets of remains which had been found in an abandoned storage unit in Winfield. For two years, a funeral director at Carter-Ricks Funeral Home in Winfield had tried but was unable to find any relatives.
"He said he just couldn’t' find anybody that were family to them. So that's when I said give them to me, I'm an investigator I'm a deputy sheriff,” said Parker.
Within a week, Parker made contact with Phillip and Carolyn Steidle, who live near the Lake of the Ozarks and set up a time to meet.
"It is awesome he went out of his way to do this,” said Carolyn Steidle.
The names on the wooden containers include Loretta Leach, who died in 2011 and according to Phillip Steidle, was his sister. The other names are John Leach, her husband, and Robert Leach, a son. Steidle said his family was from the St. John and St. Ann area of north St. Louis County and he doesn’t know how the remains ended up in Winfield.
"The family business was in St. John in St Louis, and it was a cabinet company,” said Phillip Steidle.
The Steidles plan to give the cremated remains a proper burial near their current home.