Woman angry over TSA's handling of cremated remains
UNDATED (WHDH) -- An Oregon woman is dealing with grief over the loss of her son and anger at a TSA agent which she said handled her son's cremated remains without care.
It's been only two weeks since Denise Whitmore's 25-year-old son, Eli, died of a drug overdose.
"This was my first week back to work and there’s times my eyes leak and I not crying, I just can’t hold in the grief," Whitmore said.
Whitmore and her family went through quite the ordeal when they picked up the remains in Dallas.
"It was embarrassing. It was humiliating. It was devastating," said Whitmore.
Whitmore was trying to take the remains through a TSA checkpoint at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport when the x-ray machine went off.
"The bag is brought over and they start taking out my clothes and setting them aside and then they reach inside and they reach in and grab the remains," Whitmore said.
For the first time, in front of hundreds of other passengers, Whitmore was forced to see the box with her son's remains.
"He pulls it out and he starts swabbing it and flipping it around and he's looking around the seam and there's a lip and I’m like, ‘Don't open that,’" Whitmore said.
The whole time Whitmore had paperwork from the funeral home, but she says the agent never asked to see it.
"They lacked compassion. They lacked doing their due diligence to make sure they give honor and respect to my son's remains,” Whitmore said. "I'm angry. I'm hurt because they put us through more torment than what we needed to go through."
The TSA released a statement saying the officer followed proper procedure. They say he was professional and never tried to open the box holding the remains.