Lucia Santiago, a 65-year-old grandmother living in Brooklyn, was taking a nap when she awoke to a horde of New York City police officers ordering her out of her bed at gunpoint, demanding to know where were the guns and the drugs.
But all the cops found were her late husband's ashes.
"That's the ashes of my husband," Santiago told one cop, according to the New York Post.
"No, that's drugs," the cop responded.
And even after charges were dropped last year ago, police are still refusing to return the ashes, claiming that they must discard "evidence" that they do not use.
The incident took place in February 2018 when NYPD cops raided her home where she lives with her son and grandson because they had learned her son was involved in a gun sale.
According to the New York Post:
Cops conducted the raid in connection to allegations one of Santiago’s grandsons was involved in a gun sale. They charged the grandmother, one of her sons and two grandsons with possession of a controlled substance and ammunition.
The family denied the accusations, including the gun sale, and said the ammo was a few old bullets that Miguel had kept in the house.
The charges were later dismissed.
The NYPD said they were at Lucia Santiago’s home executing “a legal search warrant,” and that drugs seized during any raid can’t be returned “because they cannot be legally possessed.”
Police did not say whether the substances taken from the Santiagos were confirmed to be heroin, but said people seeking the return of legal items can get a release from the district attorney’s office and then claim their belongings from the city’s property clerk.
The ashes were not in an urn but in what the Post describes as "an airtight capsule inside bullet-sized vials," which her family would wear on necklaces in his memory.
“He wanted for his grandkids to have a piece of him, and his children, me and my mother, nephew and son,” Nelson Santiago told the Post.