LANETT, Ala. (WRBL) – An unusual discovery in Lanett’s downtown fountain has police searching for the owners of cremated human remains.
Mayor Kyle McCoy tells News 3 the problem began three weeks ago when someone put a substance in the city fountain along First Street and N Lanier Avenue, causing the water to bubble up. Soon after, the pumps stopped working, and crews could not figure out the issue. As a last resort, they drained the fountain and on Tuesday discovered thousands of bone fragments.
The Lanett Police Department was notified, and city workers began collecting the remains. The police department took custody of the remains and are keeping them until a family comes forward to claim them.
Mayor McCoy says foul play is not suspected, but instead, he thinks a family wanted their loved one’s final resting place to be in the Lanett fountain. Mayor McCoy is hoping the remains can be returned to the family.
“They thought enough of their loved one and the city to put them in the fountain symbolically. However, I don’t think it worked out, probably the way they had planned. The remains started clogging up the pumps, so we had to take them apart and clean them, and hopefully, there would not be any damage to the pumps.”
McCoy says discarding of human remains can lead to a criminal mischief charge. Crews are still cleaning out the fountain and pumps, hoping to get it working again. However, if the fountain’s pump is damaged, the repair could cost several thousand dollars.
McCoy says when the remains were located, the fountain’s water had been turned blue to honor the men and women in the health care field who are battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
McCoy is urging residents to research options before disposing of cremated ashes and remains.