Tennessee Man Steals Box of Human Ashes, Mistaking it for Cocaine


by Casie Kolbinsky

NASHVILLE, T.N.--Authorities arrested a Tennessee man after he allegedly stole a box of human ashes, believing the ashes to be cocaine.

William "Billy" Cantrell, 28, took the box of ashes from a neighbor. Cantrell's grandmother Wanda Allen reportedly told sources Cantrell had thought the ashes were cocaine.

Authorities charged Cantrell with aggravated burglary, according to reports.

Cantrell fled to his grandmother's home in Nashville after he stole the ashes along with an Xbox from his neighbor Steven Medley, according to a police affidavit. Allen told police she didn't think her grandson had been sober during the burglary. Sources say the ashes belonged to Medley's mother.

Cantrell's mother, Kathy, defended her son.

"They just made it [sound] like he's a bad, terrible person [who] broke into this house and stole this woman's ashes," she reportedly said. "I'm not saying he's not guilty, but he didn't know what he was stealing."

Allen said the name of Medley's mother, her date of birth, her date of death and funeral home had been listed on the box. Allen said she therefore did not believe Cantrell inhaled the ashes.

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