Darrell Baker is shown in this undated handout photo. Courtney Baker doesn't know what she's going to do with the urn she's picked out for her little brother's ashes. They were supposed to arrive by express post from Edmonton to Vancouver more than two weeks ago, but after the expected delivery date was pushed back several times, she's come to the conclusion that they may be lost. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Courtney Baker *MANDATORY CREDIT*

Sister in B.C. waits for little brother’s ashes that seem to be lost in transit

VANCOUVER — Courtney Baker doesn’t know what she’s going to do with the urn she’s picked out for her little brother’s ashes.

They were supposed to arrive by express post from Edmonton to Vancouver more than two weeks ago, but after the expected delivery date was pushed back several times, she’s come to the conclusion that they may be lost.

Darrell Baker died Nov. 26 in Edmonton, said his sister who lives in Vancouver.

The 36-year-old’s remains were cremated at a funeral home in Edmonton and shipped via Canada Post to the family on Dec. 22.

The ashes were supposed to arrive by Christmas Eve, and at this point Courtney Baker said she’s checked the tracking number so many times she knows it by heart.

“We just want our brother to come home so we can lay him to rest,” she said.

The tracking number now shows the ashes are expected Jan. 12.

A spokesman for Canada Post said the organization will be in touch with Baker “as the item moves through our network.”

“We understand the importance of this item and have been investigating since being contacted by the customer,” Phil Legault said in an emailed statement. “The item was unfortunately mailed just days before Christmas when we were focused on clearing the backlogs caused by processing heavy volumes while maintaining COVID-19 safety protocols throughout our operations.”

Baker said the $110 urn — sky blue with a soaring eagle on it — is due to be delivered Monday.

“And what am I gonna do with it?” she asked. “We don’t have his ashes.”

She picked out the urn because eagles play a “significant” part in her brother’s Nlaka’pamux culture. He was from the Coldwater Band near Merritt, B.C., she said.

“When we see eagles, it’s a sign that your family members are watching over you.”

Baker said their mother, who has health problems, has taken her son’s death the hardest and had to be taken to the hospital.

“With his passing and not knowing where his remains are, it’s making her issue worse,” she said.

The family doesn’t know the cause of his death and is waiting on the autopsy report for answers.

Her brother moved to Alberta a few years ago and worked on oil rigs.

He became addicted to drugs about 12 years ago, but got clean and remained that way for the last decade, she said.

During that time the siblings had a falling out. Getting closure now is important for her, Baker said.

“He’s the baby of the family. You know, siblings are sort of supposed to look out for each other,” she said.

“I tried to give him helpful tips and advice,” she said. “He’s independent and likes to do his own thing. And I guess he doesn’t like receiving advice. We just lost contact.”

The older sister described her little brother as an animal lover, a kid who loved cars, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Tonka trucks and was always off on some adventure.

“He would rescue animals, find them homes, or take them in himself if he could from the time he was very young.”

The way she looks at it now, Baker said, is that her brother is away on “some adventure,” travelling like he always did.

“And when the time is right for me, I am looking at adopting a dog and naming him after Darrell or one of his middle names, which is Benjamin Clifford.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

As of Friday, Alberta has under 10,000 active COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alberta identifies 573 new COVID-19 cases, 13 deaths on Saturday

There are currently 9,727 active cases of the virus in the province

A firetruck sits in front of a home on Harvey Close in Red Deer Saturday afternoon. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Firefighters respond to Red Deer fire

Red Deer firefighters responded to a blaze in the north part of… Continue reading

(Courtesy photo)
Red Deer rental prices drop slightly

Renting an apartment in Red Deer became slightly cheaper last month. Rentals.ca… Continue reading

Rylee Trippel was last seen Friday. (Photo contributed by RCMP)
Red Deer RCMP looking for missing teen

Police are looking for a teen who was last seen in the… Continue reading

The Red Deer Outreach Centre’s Adopt a Family program raised $60,000 in 2020. (Photo courtesy Red Deer Outreach Centre’s Facebook)
Red Deer Outreach Centre’s Adopt a Family program raised $60K in 2020

The executive director of the Red Deer Outreach Centre says she is… Continue reading

Former Alberta Premier Rachel Notley shakes hands with Joel Ward, former Red Deer College President and CEO, as Notley announces that the college is on the path to grant degrees. Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan says university status is not a necessary condition for offering degrees. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Future of Red Deer University increasingly uncertain

MLA’s college update says RDC more like SAIT and NAIT than a university

RCMP say missing teen Hope Tivendale has been found. (File photo by Advocate staff)
No foul play suspected after burned body of homeless person found in North Vancouver

VANCOUVER — A burned body, believed to be of a homeless person,… Continue reading

The central zone experienced a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases Thursday, rising from 454 to 508 active cases over the past 24 hours, with 10 people in hospital. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Spartan Bioscience says Health Canada has approved its rapid COVID-19 test

TORONTO — An Ottawa company says it’s received approval from Health Canada… Continue reading

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole defends decision to back, then oust, Sloan

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says he was once willing to… Continue reading

Quebec Premier Francois Legault pauses as he speaks during a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021 at the legislature in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
Non-essential travel ban would violate Constitution but courts might allow it: expert

MONTREAL — Fear that Quebecers will catch a new variant of COVID-19… Continue reading

A woman walks outside the Roberta Place Long Term Care home in Barrie, Ont. on Monday, January 18, 2021. The devastating toll of COVID-19 on long-term care residents in Canada has underscored the need for increased public funding for home care, advocates say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
COVID-19 deaths in long-term care reveal need for home supports: advocates

VANCOUVER — The devastating toll of COVID-19 on long-term care residents in… Continue reading

A Chinese flag is illuminated by sunshine in the Hall of Honour on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Thursday, September 22, 2016. China is threatening retaliation against Canada after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned a new security law giving Beijing more control over Hong Kong.. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Diplomats contact Canadian held for over 2 years in China

BEIJING — Canadian officials have met online with former diplomat Michael Kovrig,… Continue reading

Marc Gold (centre) stands with senators André Pratte (left) and Peter Harder before being sworn in during a ceremony in the Senate on Parliament Hill, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Senator urges study of vexing barriers to using secret information in court cases

OTTAWA — A Senate committee should examine the hurdles that make it… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Winnipeg ticket holder wins Friday night’s $60 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — A ticket holder from Winnipeg won Friday night’s whopping $60… Continue reading

Most Read