Surfer who found mysterious urn one step closer to laying woman to rest

Heather Faustin believes she is one step closer to helping a stranger find her final resting place.

“Everyone has the same goal that we just want to make sure she’s put to rest,” Faustin said.

In January, Faustin found an urn floating near the shoreline at Diamond Head and spent months searching for anyone who knew the deceased woman, Betty Rhea Hilton Hauptman.

The urn was found four days after Hauptman was cremated in California.

On Monday, KHON2 spoke to the funeral home that cremated her.

A spokesman told KHON2 the urn was released to the woman’s power of attorney.

On Wednesday, Faustin finally spoke to him.

“The family was just devastated as of right now so they’re a little embarrassed. They did tell him to tell me thank you for going the extra mile to find her family,” Faustin said.

She asked, “How did the urn get to Hawaii?”

“He said that he had arranged for the urn to come here. A catamaran went out to sea and it was supposed to be a dropped out at sea. He didn’t go into detail who they were if they were family members but he said that there were witnesses that that happened.  He did mention though that they did arrange for it to be a biodegradable box,” Faustin said.

But the urn was plastic.

Faustin says the power of attorney plans to send Hauptman’s last will and testament.

“Just so that we know exactly what she wanted and that it does get into the right hands,” Faustin said.

Once she receives the documents she hopes to bury her ashes at sea. Hauptman’s only family lives in Israel.

“She loved Hawaii, he said that her last trip she was in Hawaii, so they wanted to have her ashes laid to rest here so i would probably just go ahead and do that,” Faustin said.

Although she’s never met her, Faustin feels a definite connection.

“One thing that I took away from is you have to cherish the people who are in your life. We’re called to be kind and we’re called to love above all,” Faustin said.

And when she says goodbye, she’ll be saying aloha to a friend.

“If anyone has a different or new perspective on life because of this situation then what more could we ask for,” Faustin said.

The state does not require any permits for scattering of ashes at sea that don’t involve large crowds or a number of vessels.

The state Department of Health says cremated remains are not a health hazard in the marine environment.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources asks that ashes be dispersed beyond the reef line.

It’s suggest that loose flowers be scattered instead of lei as animals could become sick from eating the strings.

A permit is required for a large event. There is no cost.

For more information visit the DLNR website.

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