An urn filled with a child's remains goes to the dump

This is not a consumer investigation or a business report or even a "Call for Action" success.
It's just a good story about kindness and gratitude.

Laquana Porterfield's 18-year-old daughter died a year ago.

"I miss her," she said looking at Tyresa Perry's photograph.

It was a day that started with an asthma attack.

"She had called me then said, 'Mom, I'm going to lay down because I'm tired.'

But the next call she says was from an ER doc.

"'She had a heart attack, and we got her in a coma,'" she recalled hearing over the phone.

Laquana Porterfield's daughter died that day. They believe her asthma inhaler may have been on a recall list. It's been, by any standard, a very rough year for this mother. She juggles two jobs but doesn't have enough money to get a place of her own. So, for the time being, she's sleeping with friends and relatives and toting her memories with her.

"Oh, yeah, she loved purple," she told me looking her daughter's purple urn.

Tyresa's cremated remains are always in her backpack. But one night, the family she stayed with didn't feel comfortable with her ashes in the house. So, her mother had to leave her backpack with the urn hidden, she thought, in the woods at a nice, well-kept apartment complex.

But because this place is tidy a clean-up crew saw a backpack and tossed it. The next morning she made the cruel discovery.  

What she figured out was the backpack had probably landed in the apartment complex's Dumpster. But it was a sealed container that she couldn't access, so she made some desperate phone calls and realized it may have been headed to Waste Management about a mile away.

The company responsible for picking up trash from the apartment complex's Dumpster was cycling in the day's garbage. Heavy truck operator Justin Jones got a call that something was lost. And that's not unusual.

"They've done it before - wedding dresses, jewelry important documents," he said.

But this was different. This was Ms. Porterfield's child. He remembers that day vividly and how this distraught mother looked.

"I don't know if the word is upset or distraught, probably hopeless and faithless."

So he got to work. He headed toward the large piles of garbage.

"I reached over the top and gently spread it 'cause you can't just go crazy and mangle it all."

He was optimistic. Mom was not.

"It was, like, crazy. I was giving up. It was a pile of garbage. I ain't never seen anything like that."

She grew more desperate. Justin was determined. He jumped down and dug in, too.

"Yeah, digging through it and we was, like, all of the sudden, oh my God a bag. 'Is this it?' she recalled him asking with his arms raised above his head.  "I said, 'Oh, my God.' I started crying. It was tears of joy. I was happy 'cause I was giving up."

Justin Jones, a stranger, cried too.

"I've been shedding a tear for the last two days."

Yep, Justin Jones found what this complete stranger had lost.  

"She wanted to repay us, buy us lunch. I told her, "No ma'am; I 'm just doing my job.'"

So her one last request is this - that we tell their story and she tells him one more time - thank you.

"Tell him I love him and thank him so much."

Will do.