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Homeless man seeks help getting wife's ashes back

Box of ashes sold at storage unit auction
Posted at 8:08 PM, Dec 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-28 00:01:58-05

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CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Franklin Champlin is at his wit’s end.

The homeless man reached out to Contact 7 this month seeking help tracking down his wife’s ashes.

They were sold at auction after he fell behind paying his storage unit fees.

“I had a heart attack, and couldn’t work,” he said.

Champlin said his wife, Jill Jameson, died in February of 2017.

“We were married for 30 years,” he said.

Champlin told Denver7 that he initially kept Jill’s remains in an apartment until he could no longer afford the rent.

That’s when he moved all his belongings into a storage facility and started living in his car.

The current manager at StorQuest on South Jordan Road said the company sent notice of delinquency to Champlin via the mail and email addresses he provided when he first rented the unit.

“I didn’t have a phone or anything at the time,” he said.

Champlin told Denver7 that his entire life was stored in that unit.

“I had pictures; I had furniture and stuff, but that’s not important,” he said. “The important thing is the ashes.”

He said he wants those ashes back.

“I already lost her once,” he said. “I feel like I lost her twice now and didn’t get to carry out her last wish.”

Jill’s last wish, he added, was to have her ashes scattered in the Pacific Ocean.

The StorQuest manager said they couldn’t provide the buyer's contact information for reasons of confidentiality.

She said they reached out to the buyer via the phone number and email address provided.

“The phone number is no longer in service, and there has been no reply to the email,” she said.

He said his worst fear is that Jill’s ashes are in a landfill somewhere.

Champlin said Jill’s dog, Lola, is all he has left.

He’s imploring whoever purchased his belongings to contact StorQuest so that he can get the ashes back.