Woman finds urn of grandmother while looking for shells on NH beach


HAMPTON BEACH, NH (WMUR/CNN WIRE/WBTW) – A New Hampshire woman is searching for answers after she found an urn washed ashore on the beach.

Now, she wants to reunite it with its family.

Ellen Copello was looking for shells during her sunrise walk on Hampton Beach when she spotted the urn.

“I walked up to it and when I ever saw it was the same box as my mother’s, that I buried my mother in, but my mother’s was pink,” Ellen Copello said. “So, I knew it was an urn and then, of course, I looked closer and it said ‘Grandma’ and I knew it was an urn and I knew it was someone’s grandma.”

The retired nurse from Kingston called police and her husband, Joe.

“Oh, it’s like a mystery to me, you know what I mean. I have no idea how it got here,” said Joe Copello.  

“So, he brought two Hannaford bags and we put them in there, we put the grandma in there and we walked it all the way down to the hat-shell, you know to the state park’s office,” Ellen added.

Police will try to help find who the urn belongs to – and so will Ellen.

“I noticed the edges were all worn away.”

She posted her story on social media – including WMUR’s ULocal Facebook page.

“I’m getting bing, bing, bing — all these responses from ULocal. So, people from all over New Hampshire now are looking at it. You got to put that on the news. Someone’s grandma is out there, just sitting on the beach,” she said.

Ellen and Joe hope they bring closure to a family, somewhere

“Just so whoever’s grandmother she is, they know that she is there. And they can pick her up,” added Ellen.  

New Hampshire State Police and the New Hampshire Medical Examiner’s Office are now in possession of the urn.


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