BERKELEY — After almost 40 years of marriage, Eileen Hunt said she is used to her husband Gary bringing home all kinds of random items. But she said the urn he found on Berkeley Beach last week may top them all.

In fact, it caused a local social media firestorm and may bring closure to a family whose urn of cremated dog remains was stolen by a burglar more than two decades ago.

Hunt said she first noticed the urn in her garden.

"I couldn't think of where it came from or how it got there," she said. "Then I thought maybe there's some like explosives inside, or, who knows. There's so many crazy things going on."

It wasn't until later in the day that Gary told her he had found the urn while taking their dog for a walk on the beach. She said her husband "brings stuff home all the time," and that he'd seen the urn among the reeds on the beach, deciding to add it to his collection of random items in their Bayville section home.

Hunt said she decided to write about it on a Facebook page for Bayville residents to see if it could find its rightful home.

As word of the urn spread, Hunt said a woman from Toms River got in contact with her, saying the urn likely held the remains of her dog Blue Boy. The woman told her that her house had been robbed back in 1992. The woman told Hunt that the urn was among the items that had been stolen, and that while they eventually found the person responsible, none of the items taken were ever found.

As she talked to the woman more, Hunt learned they had a mutual friend.

"Now, 26 years later we find her dog and she knows who I am," Hunt said.

The woman had been in Pennsylvania when she learned about the urn and was supposed to come back to New Jersey this week, according to Hunt. She was supposed to go to the local police station to confirm whether or not it was her urn. While the woman said she is "99 percent positive" that its her urn, Hunt said she was somewhat concerned because it looks like there was a sticker on the urn that she did not remember.

Hunt said she hopes the urn does belong to the woman, and that the story has a happy ending. She also knows that there's no telling what Gary will bring home next.

"We've been married for 38 years. The boy is always bringing something home," she said with a laugh. "If it fell off a truck, if it's on the side of the road, if it looks like something, he's got it!"

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Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or Adam.Hochron@townsquaremedia.com

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