It's been two weeks since John Shaffer received the package at his sister's house in Springfield. But his disappointment over what he found inside is still palpable. "Pops always said he wanted to come home," Shaffer said.
The package was supposed to contain an urn holding some of his late father's remains. The rest are in Florida where he passed away from cancer last year. "His parents are buried up here -- a little cemetery in Bellows Falls -- and he just said it would be good to be taken home. So that's where he'd be close to gram and gramps. That's why I figured I would bring part of him home. At least he is with his parents," Shaffer said.
Shaffer's finance mailed the package from Florida. The Cocoa, Florida resident was already in Vermont. When he received it, he knew immediately something was wrong -- torn edges, crumpled corners and tape covered it. "And to see the box, the condition it was when I got it, I was like kind of freaked out because I'm like, I hope everything is in there. And then when I started digging through and come to find out he is not there, I got emotional -- between getting emotional and getting mad," Shaffer said.
And then confusion. Children's clothes, not in the original shipment, were now inside. Shaffer notified the United States Postal Service immediately. In a statement to Channel 3 News The USPS said: "We have a robust investigation ongoing... This includes action in Vermont, Florida and our Mail Recovery Center where unidentified items that become separated from packaging during mail handling are directed."
Shaffer is waiting on the results of that investigation. In the meantime he's trying to stay positive -- like his mom, who was married to the same man for 42 years. "You know my dad was a traveling man. He was a truck driver for years and he always liked to travel. And mom said, you know, he just out there traveling again. You know, it kind of gave me a little chuckle," Shaffer said.
But he wants the remains back. "It's a small urn -- about 3 inches tall, bluish green with gold -- and it is my dad. I would like to get it back," he said. "My dad was my man -- my number one guy," he said.
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:10 AM EDT2014-03-09 14:10:32 GMT
Two New Hampshire communities damaged by storms are getting federal help. Lincoln will get more than $4.5 million for a bridge repair from Tropical Storm Irene. FEMA also awarded Lebanon more than $3More >>
Two New Hampshire communities damaged by storms are getting federal help.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:09 AM EDT2014-03-09 14:09:58 GMT
This morning, Channel 3 has learned there will NOT be a bus strike Monday morning in Chittenden County. CCTA officials told us in a statement that after 19 hours of negotiations that went into the morningMore >>
This morning, Channel 3 has learned there will NOT be a bus strike Monday morning in Chittenden County.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:09 AM EDT2014-03-09 14:09:06 GMT
A Ken Burns documentary featuring Vermont students will have its premiere in Brattleboro. The film is called "The Address". It follows the 50 boys at the Greenwood School in Putney who have learningMore >>
A Ken Burns documentary featuring Vermont students will have its premiere in Brattleboro.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:03 AM EDT2014-03-09 14:03:58 GMT
New Hampshire police say a man is recovering after he accidentally shot himself. Claremont police tell us that the man was cleaning his gun Saturday night when it went off. He was taken to the hospitalMore >>
New Hampshire police say a man is recovering after he accidentally shot himself.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 9:59 AM EDT2014-03-09 13:59:53 GMT
This towering ice fortress is dazzling visitors to Loon Mountain in New Hampshire. "Yeah, this is a wow moment," says visitor Millie Gabriel. "It's an incredible feeling to see people really light upMore >>
If you're ready to see one more beautiful thing before we say hello to spring, then we've found the spot for you.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 9:53 AM EDT2014-03-09 13:53:41 GMT
When the Wild Center in Tupper Lake was looking at maple education programs, they hit a bit of a snag. "I took a survey of the 31 acres here at the museum and we only had one maple tree on the property,"More >>
The Community Maple program has been going for three years now, allowing people to take the sap from their backyard and learn how to turn it into syrup.
Sunday, March 9 2014 9:44 AM EDT2014-03-09 13:44:12 GMT
We've got some tasty ideas for this second Sunday in March! PANCAKE BREAKFAST This year is the 20th annual Franklin Fire Dept. Pancake breakfast at the Franklin Central School. They serve more than 2,000More >>
We've got some tasty ideas for this second Sunday in March!More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:49 PM EST2014-03-09 02:49:49 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
The Burlington Yoga Conference began 6 years ago and has become a staple in the community.More >>