Erika Valencia didn’t believe the news at first.

It was Halloween week, after all, and in the 19 years she’s worked at LKQ salvage yard, no such thing had ever been found before.

But the inconspicuous black box was very real, as were the cremated remains inside.

The remains were found by a worker taking inventory of a car in the yard filled with some 2,000 vehicles. He brought the box to Valencia.

“I saw the box and go, “What do you want me to do with it? Don’t ask me to throw it away. You can’t throw it away. It has to go back to his family.’”

In the two weeks since the remains were found, Valencia and others at the salvage yard have been trying to track down the man’s family. Valencia said she and other workers have used Google, Facebook and even MySpace to find his relatives, with no luck. They’ve used the birth and death dates on the box for any clues. They called the mortuary listed on the box. A worker there told them they would contact the family.

The salvage yard at LKQ in east Houston where a box of cremated remains was found inside a car.

Workers at the yard have found a lot of weird things over the years, including a car that smelled so bad workers were afraid there was a body inside. It turned out to be a bag of dirty diapers.

But never cremated remains.

Because the funeral home is working to notify the man’s family, KHOU 11 News is withholding his name. The funeral home picked up the remains today with plans to return them to the family.

“I just want to keep in touch with him, see who he belongs to, and get him in the right place,” she said.

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