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Owner reunited with vial found on playground that contains great-grandparents’ ashes

Idaho Falls

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IDAHO FALLS – The rightful owner of a necklace with a vial containing someone’s ashes has been found.

EastIdahoNews.com reported Sunday Steven Hobbs of Idaho Falls has had the necklace since September when his 3-year-old granddaughter found it while on the playground at Ethel Boyes Elementary School.

He’s been searching for the owner ever since, sharing the info with school administrators, Wood Funeral Home and even posting about it on social media.

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Hailey Staggie saw the story Monday morning and immediately called Hobbs saying it was hers.

“I sent him the receipt so he knew it was actually mine,” Staggie tells EastIdahoNews.com.

Staggie says her son, Xzavier, attends Ethel Boyes and the vial was a gift for him after his great-grandmother, with whom he was really close, passed away in September 2020. The ashes inside are the remains of both his great-grandparents and he wanted to wear it to school for picture day.

When she saw the published story, Staggie says she had no idea the necklace and vial were even missing.

“(Xzavier) told me just the other day, ‘Mom, you need to buy me a new necklace,'” Staggie says. “I told my dad, ‘Do you remember the necklace that I got for Xzavier?’ And he was like, ‘Oh, I read that story yesterday.'”

“And you didn’t say anything?!” she said in response.

Shortly after giving it to her son, Staggie remembers finding it on the floor several times after he’d been wearing it.

“I had told him there’s really special stuff in here so you have to take care of it,” Staggie recalls. “He wanted to wear it for picture day, but I kept finding it on the floor and I’m like, ‘Ok, I guess you’re not old enough to have it now.'”

She put it up in the cupboard and Staggie thinks Xzavier got it without her knowing about it and lost it at school that day. He never said a word about losing it, Staggie says.

Staggie is planning to pick it up from Hobbs on her way home from work Monday.

Knowing now that it’s been missing for more than a year and still intact is nothing short of a miracle, Staggie says, and that her grandparents wanted to be found.

She’s grateful to know there are still people in the world who care.

“Obviously, they knew it was something special, so I appreciate that,” she says of Hobbs. “Thank you for being an honest person. The world needs more of that.”

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