The family of a D.C. woman who had been missing since 2012 discovered that her remains are in a morgue in Maryland and strangers started donating on a GoFundMe page to help bring her home.
Speaking to Fox 5 D.C., the family explained that they recently found out that the remains Armenta “Penny” Mitchell-Williams may have been in a morgue for more than a decade.
According to the woman’s mother Delores Mitchell, December 6 is the deadline to get her daughter’s remains back before they are cremated.
“She would rather be out getting the leaves up than to be in the house and that way she could see everybody outside and wave to her friends in the neighborhood,” Mitchell told Fox 5 D.C. about her daughter.
In order to return the body on time, a GoFundMe page was created by Henderson Long, a longtime advocate for missing people.
Long’s statement on the page says that Mitchell-Williams’ remains were “in the custody of The Maryland Medical Examiners Office” and that the coroner gave her mother until December 6 “to have a mortician pick up the remains.”
If the remains are not retrieved by that time, the Examiners Office would dispose of them “following their protocol.”
“Her mother is elderly with health issues, she’s on a fixed income. The military only provides funds to open and close of the grave and a few ceremonial rights. Armenta’s son Travis in the photo below is deaf and has mental and physical challenges, we are asking for the community‘s assistance to give Armenta a decent burial. No amount is too small pls,” Long says in the fundraiser statement above a picture of Mitchell-Williams’ family.
Over 30 people have already made donations to the cause, bringing the total amount collected to $1,558.