Indie rocker gets dead stranger’s ashes sent home

Hamilton Leithauser was mistakenly sent Dwight Walter's six-year-old ashes

Hamilton Leithauser was sent the six-year-old ashes of a total stranger (Image: WABC ABC 7)

A funeral home has been accused of sending a father’s ashes to the wrong person – nearly six years late and marked with the wrong name – and only taking them back after public backlash.

Hamilton Leithauser, 44, opened a package that arrived at his New York home on Tuesday to find a box containing the remains.

A label said the remains belonged to a Walter John and had been cremated at John’s funeral home in October 2017, while the package was simply addressed to the “current resident”.

Mr. Leithauser, a singer known for fronting indie rock band The Walkmen, says he’s lived at the address for six years and has never heard of the man.

He claims he called the undertaker, only for the undertaker to refuse to pick up the ashes and hung up after telling him “this is your problem now”.

The musician took to social media to pressure the company to fix the bizarre mishap.

He told his followers: “I got in touch with the funeral home and the director doesn’t give a shit, doesn’t give a damn about this poor chap and refuses to take her back.

“Now I have this stranger’s ashes in my kitchen. What should I do with them?’

To view this video, please enable JavaScript and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 videos

Man sent ashes of person he's never met in bizarre mishap

The ashes were addressed to the “current occupant” of Mr Leithauser’s Brooklyn apartment (Image: WABC ABC7)

Comparing the situation to a skit from the deadpan comedy series Curb Your Enthusiasm, Mr. Leithauser added: “If anyone wants to send hate mail, or wants to know where NOT to die, or wants to send their loved ones, get in touch [John’s Funeral Home].’

He then set about tracking down the deceased’s loved ones after hearing the undertaker say he was trying to send the ashes to a man named Ronnie, who lived at the same address around 2017.

But after his search began to gain publicity, the funeral home reportedly “changed its tone” and agreed to pick the ashes.

The ashes have since been revealed to belong to Dwight Walter, a trucker who reportedly died in 2017 at the age of 56.

Man sent ashes of person he's never met in bizarre mishap

The label stated the ashes had been cremated in 2017 (Image: WABC ABC7)

Mr Walter’s son, Lamont Hall, said Ronnie was his brother and he believed he took care of the ashes after their father’s funeral.

Despite the misunderstanding, Mr Hall said the funeral home should have come forward after the ashes were not claimed.

He told The Post: “Shame on him. Seeing his ashes misplaced is heartbreaking. It’s really shocking how this was handled.

“We would still have been in the dark, thinking our father was safe while he was being sent around like a package.”

When asked why it took so long to send the ashes, undertaker John Neman told the newspaper: “No one came to collect them. That was the address I was given.”

It remains unclear how the ashes could have been mislabeled.

Mr Hall thanked Mr Leithauser, who added: “It’s just shocking. I ask myself: “What should I do with this?”

“That was a human. You have to show a little respect.”

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at

For more stories like this, Visit our news page. Indie rocker gets dead stranger's ashes sent home

Justin Scacco

InternetCloning is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button