14 News Special Report: The Little Black Box - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

14 News Special Report: The Little Black Box

Posted: Updated:

We hold tight to something irreplaceable, such as wedding rings or family heirlooms, and when it's lost it could be gone forever. That is until someone finds your treasure.

One Evansville family got the surprise of a lifetime when they were able to return that priceless gift.

It was just an average Tuesday when Harold Blackard began to clear out a van he had just purchased at an auto auction.

But Harold discovered something more than just fast food wrappers and old blankets in the back seat.

"He said, I found some ashes and somebody's been cremated," Harold's wife Piper said.

"I was like, well don't throw it away. Bring it home and we will find the family. Surely someone out there is missing somebody."

The remains were carefully wrapped inside the little black box with a certificate of cremation.

From the beginning, Piper knew exactly what she was going to do.

"I just took the box in my arms and sat in front of the computer and started research," Piper said.

All she had was a name: Bobbi Kuebler.

Information was scarce and at every turn, her leads were just dead ends.

"I just started calling. The funeral home couldn't help because it had been sold, and the nursing home wasn't able to give me any recent numbers," said Piper.

"Everything had been disconnected."

Piper realized this was going to be more challenging than she thought. At that moment, she decided this story would have a happy ending regardless of her search.

"If we weren't able to locate the family, I told my husband we would have kept the ashes and saved up money until we get a really pretty urn to put it in and we'll just adopt the ashes," said Piper. "They'll become part of the family."

Piper turned to Facebook after feeling defeated.

She messaged everyone she could find with the same last name, hoping someone would respond.

Late that afternoon, she got the response she had been praying for.

"I started to scream," said Piper. "I got chills down my spine."

Piper's family had connected with Sharon Dishner - Bobbi's aunt.

The first phone call explaining their discovery was something Sharon wasn't prepared to take.

"They were crying on the phone, they were thanking us saying we were angels," said Piper.

Bobbi's family - her aunt Sharon, sister Sierra, friend Tracy and niece Brittany all piled in the car and began their journey to bring Bobbi home.

The family thought nothing of traveling more than eight hours from Roanoke, VA to Evansville for the reunion they waited more than two years for.

The family said the last time they saw Bobbi was in March when her battle with brain cancer ended.

Sharon said Bobbi's estranged husband received her remains.

"He had told her mother that he would be bringing the ashes to Virginia to give to her, but they never came," said Sharon.

They waited and prayed, but more than two years after her death, they just had pictures and memories, but no remains.

"Every day when I talk to her, she's saying wonder where her ashes are, wonder where her ashes are?" Sharon said.

Did the family ever think they would see Bobbi again?

"I will see her again because she's in heaven. But her remains, no, we never thought we'd see them again."

The family said this is the beginning of a long road of grieving and healing, all over again. 

"This will have some kind of closure for them, because it's been very hard, very very hard," Sharon said. 

For Sierra, Bobbi's younger sister, this gift couldn't have come at a more perfect time. 

"Monday is my birthday. And you contacted me before my birthday hit. 

It's was a bittersweet birthday. 

The family already has a spot picked out for Bobbi.
 
"On my nightstand with another little urn I have," Sierra said.

"I have a picture that I always look at everyday I come home from work. She's always giving me a high five everyday."

Bobbi's family said they will be forever thankful to the Blackard family. And they are thankful they had the opportunity to share who Bobbi really was. 

"Bobbi was very comical, very funny. She loved her children, she had two girls and a boy."

Two families, now united by a simple act of kindness. 

"On behalf of the family, our deepest heartfelt thanks," Sharon said.

"When they found it, it was Bobbi's way of saying I'm coming home and tomorrow she will be home and we're eternally greatful for that," Sharon said.

"There's still good people out there. If you want to help somebody and you're thinking maybe it's impossible, if you do it then good chances are it's going to have a happy ending," Piper said.

Copyright 2013 WFIE. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow