Contractor discovers mysterious urn in North Philly home, seeks next of kin

A local contractor made a unique discovery while assessing a home in North Philadelphia that is set to undergo renovations – the cremated remains of a woman who died in 1992.

Now, he’s hoping to reunite them with the woman’s family.

“It looked like someone came in and took everything, but they left her behind,” said Eddie Bowe, the contractor who found the ashes.

While evaluating a home along the 3400 block of North Carlisle Street near Temple University Hospital, Bowe said he saw a strangely shaped golden box sitting on a pile of rubble.

The box turned out to be an urn with a small plaque that read, “Alice T. Meeks, July 4, 1913 – December 28, 1992.”

“I went in there to get things started and just came across it,” he said. “So, we took it with us.”

Now, Bowe said, he’s trying to track down Meeks’ family to make sure that the woman’s cremains can be with her loved ones.

Bowe said that he’s done a search of former owners of the property and reached out to everyone he could, but he has not yet found anyone who might be related to Meeks. He said that he’s planning to wait a month in the hopes of tracking down a relative.

If he is unsuccessful after a month, Bowe said he plans to hold a ceremony on July 4, which would have been Meeks’ 104th birthday.

“My goal is, we have a month,” he said. “Then, on July 4, I’ll either bury her or scatter her ashes in a ceremony.”

Bowe has posted a photo and description of the urn holding Meeks’ ashes on Facebook, and he’s asking anyone related to her, or who might have information on her family, to reach out to him.

“I think Alice has spent enough time alone in an abandoned house,” he wrote in the Facebook post. “Do the right thing people and help out. Share this post a 1,000 times, and maybe we can find her family.”

As of Monday afternoon, the post had been shared 1,631 times.

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