CLIFFVIEW PILOT EXCLUSIVE: Port Authority police Tuesday night found the cremated remains of what are believed to be two people, in urns left on a stairwell at the Newport/Pavonia PATH station.
A commuter alerted Police Sgt. Michael Barry that a package on a platform stairwell near a little-used entrance of the station “didn’t look right,” a law enforcement source with direct knowledge of the case told CLIFFVIEW PILOT.
The sergeant, along with PA Officers Vincent Amari and Mike Montalbano, found a pair of “odd-looking” canisters and a shoulder bag.
They immediately cordoned off the area and summoned a bomb-sniffing dog team to determine whether the unattended containers posed a threat. When the K-9 responded negatively, they looked inside the ornate, made-in-India, sterling-silver containers.
They found ashes and what are believed to be bone fragments, the source told CLIFFVIEW PILOT early this morning.
Hindu rites in India require males to pour the cremated remains of dead relatives into a sacred river. Police are theorizing that perhaps the urns were inadvertently left at the station or were stolen and ditched there.
Port Authority detectives are contacting area police departments to determine whether any burglaries or robberies related to the urns have been reported.
The remains will be turned over to the New Jersey Medical Examiner in the morning for further investigation. Anyone with knowledge of the urns or their remains is asked to contact Port Authority Police at (201) 216-6078.
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