Jean Egan's brother's remains were supposed to arrive by mail in Maryland in just two days at the most.
“I hope we are the last family that has to suffer the pain that we have gone through,” Jean said.
Jean said the cremated remains of her 68-year-old brother Scott Egan, a U.S. Medical Corp veteran, were not only nearly two weeks late but missing.
Scott died of pancreatic cancer in July and the family decided to bury his remains at his sister’s farm in Maryland.
Jean dropped her brother’s remains off at her Suffield post office on Aug. 7 where she was told it would not take longer than a couple of days.
“I was told that because of operational changes and COVID-19 and the absence of overtime, they could expect up to five days before her brother reached her sister in Maryland,” Jean said.
Jean said her brother’s remains were sent that day to the USPS Regional Distribution Center in Springfield, Massachusetts 24 minutes away, but the tracking number showed the package was not entered into the Springfield system until days later, she said. The remains had not left the Springfield distribution center until at least Aug. 15 and the tracking history kept saying “in transit, arriving late," according to Jean.
“They sent an urgent request for information,” Jean said.
Jean says it wasn’t until the USPS created a case number and she contacted senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy that eventually led to the postal service tracking down the remains at the distribution center in Linthicum Heights, Maryland.
A postal service worker then volunteered to drive the remains two hours to her sister’s house.
“She apologized for the delay and thanked my family for our service to this nation,” Jean said.
Jean said she’s thankful her brother’s remains are now at rest and prays other families will not have to suffer through the post office shuffle.
“I hope that we are the last family that has to suffer the pain that we have gone through,” Jean said.