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Cremated ashes found inside ‘message in a bottle’ in Destin, FL

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DESTIN, Fla. (WKRG) – Mobile man John Breland had a big surprise Thursday morning when he found a message in a bottle on the beach. 

Around 11:00 a.m. John picked up the green tinted glass container to find a bag of cremated ashes. The bag reads: ‘Cremated remains of Jacquelene Elizabeth Barineau. 1964-2018.’

“I was like dude this can’t be real this has got to be a hoax there’s no way that people would actually do that so I keep reading and it’s a super genuine letter about this mother and brother talking about this woman,” John Breland said.

Anna Breland, John’s twin sister, sent the attached videos to WKRG just moments after the discovery. John broke and opened the bottle to uncover money and a letter from ‘Jackie’ instructing the finder to contact her family after the bottle had been recovered. 

The letter reads:

February 17, 2019. Hi my name is Jackie, this letter is being written by mother and brother. I passed away February 9, 2018. I was born August 2, 1964. My time was cut short, so I am traveling the seas to see the world one wave at a time. If you find me please contact my family…. here is some money to for you to help me on my way after you have contacted my family please.

“Walking back I had it all in my pocket and I’m just sitting there like man I’m walking around with someone’s cremated body and it was just wasn’t what I was planning on doing this morning,” John Breland said.

Breland was able to contact the family of Barineau to let them know if his discovery. They told him she was sent to sea in February 2019 just offshore from Miami. She died in 2018.

“He was so thankful that we found it and he said hey would you guys mind putting it back in a bottle,” John Breland said.

News 5 was with John Breland as he tossed the bottle back into the Gulf.

“I just got a text from him saying I would’ve talked more but I couldn’t stop crying so it’s a real emotional just loving them for them so we’re going to do the right thing and put the money back in there and then send it back out to sea,” he said.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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Aaron Nolan is a morning show co-host in Little Rock, Arkansas with Nexstar Media Group's KARK-TV. He has a passion for social media and makes it an important part of his daily routine. Click here to read Aaron's full bio.