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Family asking for loved one's ashes back after suitcase goes missing at Cleveland airport

$100 reward offered for return
Posted at 8:27 AM, Oct 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-19 08:27:27-04

CLEVELAND — A family is hoping to fulfill their loved one’s final wish, but while en route to her final resting place in Northeast Ohio, the suitcase containing her ashes went missing.

"We don't care about the luggage, it's more what's in that box — burial box,” said Harold Karaka, who just arrived with his family in Cleveland Saturday night with plans to hold a memorial service for his late mother-in-law Doris.

But after arriving at Cleveland Hopkins Airport, they discovered the suitcase, and the wooden box with Doris’ name on it, was nowhere to be found.

The suitcase arrived on an American Airlines flight at about 7 p.m. Saturday; Karaka said the airline confirmed it was scanned in at the airport, but where it went from there is a mystery. He’s hoping someone took the luggage accidentally and will return it to his family.

“It's just a personal — there's nothing to gain profit-wise from having that box,” Karaka said. “If they could give it back, we'd be most grateful."

Doris grew up in Northfield and wanted to be buried next to her mother. Karaka said they still plan to hold a service Monday morning.

Through it all, Karaka said, the family is still able to keep a sense of humor.

"Doris, we kind of joked around and said maybe she wanted one more adventure before she left, so if that's the case, then thank you Doris, you should have warned us,” he said.

The family is offering a $100 reward. If you know where the suitcase is, you’re asked to return it to Cleveland Hopkins Airport police.