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Police to probe dumping where urns found

Tampa, FL

TAMPA - Police will investigate illegal dumping at a site where the cremated remains of a decorated World War II veteran were found.

The remains of Delbert E. Hahn, his wife, Barbara, and another person were discovered Saturday among trash behind a vacant college on Busch Boulevard.

It appears a company has dumped items from several Pasco County addresses there, Tampa police spokeswoman Andrea Davis said Wednesday.

"We're going to make every effort to find out who is dumping illegally in the city," Davis said. "People don't realize it's a crime. It is."

City code-enforcement officers Monday cited the owner of the former Remington College property, 2410 E. Busch Blvd., and ordered a cleanup of the site.

"Code enforcement is putting a fence around the area so people can't dump things there," Davis said.

Mike Colt and his girlfriend, Carol Sturgell, were looking through dumped items Saturday when they found the urns and details on Delbert Hahn's military retirement and medals.

Hahn survived the invasion of Normandy and was a two-time Purple Heart recipient.

It wasn't immediately clear when Hahn died, although Colt said he thinks paperwork found with the urns indicated Hahn retired in the 1960s and died in the early 1980s.

Barbara Hahn died Aug. 1, 2003, and was cremated at Southeastern Crematories in Clearwater.

Hahn willed her Zephyrhills mobile home to Alan and Nicki Sheran. The couple lived there until 2008, when it went into foreclosure, Nicki Sheran said.

The Sherans weren't able to remove all of their possessions before losing ownership and the urns were among the items left behind, Nicki Sheran said. She said the third urn contains the remains of Barbara Hahn's mother, Barbara Stahlhofen.

Officials haven't confirmed the identity of those remains.

Police say a Department of Veterans Affairs liaison determined the Hahns had no next of kin. VA officials said they were arranging with Jackson Funeral Home to have the remains transported to Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell.

Ronald Derr Sr. of the Tampa funeral home said the Hahns' remains will be taken to Bushnell if they aren't claimed by family. A service will be held there at 1 p.m. Monday.

The third urn will stay in the police department's property room until it is claimed, Davis said.

News Channel 8 reporter Dave Balut contributed to this report. Reporter Josh Poltilove can be reached at (813) 259-7691.

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