Ottawa

Urn necklace delivered by Amazon with remains already inside, woman says

A woman from Gatineau, Que., is warning Amazon customers to beware of a third-party seller after she received a butterfly-shaped urn necklace containing what appeared to be the cremated remains of a human or animal.

Nadine Roy bought butterfly urn necklace for grandmother's ashes, but found remains already inside

Urn necklace delivered by Amazon with ashes already inside, Gatineau woman says

4 months ago
1:34
Gatineau resident Nadine Roy bought a butterfly urn necklace to keep her grandmother’s ashes close. But she says it arrived from Amazon with what appeared to be someone else’s remains already inside. 1:34

A woman from Gatineau, Que., is warning Amazon customers to beware of a third-party seller after she received a butterfly-shaped urn necklace containing what appeared to be the cremated remains of a human or animal.

Nadine Roy says she purchased the nickel-sized necklace as a place for her recently-deceased grandmother's ashes. Instead, she was shocked and disturbed to find ashes and hair already inside.

"I'm sick to my stomach. I don't even know what to do. This is beyond unacceptable," Roy wrote in a review on the product's Amazon page. 

"I am so disgusted and I'm sorry to the ghost remains I just disturbed." 

Nadine Roy left this review on the product page for the butterfly urn necklace she purchased on Amazon. (Amazon.ca)

Shocking discovery

Roy initially purchased four pendants from three separate Amazon sellers for herself, her mother, her brother and a family friend to hold her grandmother's ashes as a keepsake.

The butterfly necklace she chose for herself was sold under the brand name WINNICACA by Chinese seller Minfeel Jewelry, which Amazon labelled a "good seller" with an "impressive rating" of 4.8 stars based on reviews from more than 300 customers.

Nadine Roy says a butterfly-shaped necklace she purchased from a third-party seller on Amazon arrived containing what appeared to be the cremated remains of a human or animal. (Submitted by Nadine Roy)

In an interview with CBC, Roy said she first noticed something wasn't right when the pendants she purchased for her brother and mother came fully wrapped and packaged in plastic, but hers arrived loose in a plastic Ziploc-style bag.

"When I opened the canister ... I was tilting it and all this dust came out. I realized pretty quickly that it was actually ashes," said Roy. "There was little hairs in it. I have no words for it."

Roy contacted both Amazon and Minfeel Jewelry to explain the mishap. The seller refunded the $56.96 she paid for the necklace, but couldn't provide a replacement item due to inventory issues.

Nadine Roy, left, is seen with her grandmother. (Submitted by Nadine Roy)

Third-party seller says Amazon is responsible

In its correspondence with Roy, reviewed by CBC, Minfeel Jewelry told her Amazon is responsible for shipping the products. 

Amazon refused to provide CBC with an on-the-record comment. Minfeel did not respond at all.

On Thursday, Amazon spokesperson Kristin Gable confirmed on the record to CBC that the company "is in touch with the customer and investigating with the third-party seller."

Unsure of what to do with the ashes she found inside, Roy said she took the necklace and hung it off a branch of a tree in an Ottawa cemetery.

"I went to a graveyard, put it in a tree somewhere that was peaceful, quiet, beautiful to look at and just left it there," said Roy. 

"I think that's the most respectful thing I could do."

A woman from Gatineau, Que., is warning Amazon customers to beware of a third-party seller after she received a butterfly-shaped urn necklace containing what appeared to be the cremated remains of a human or animal. 6:27

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