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Owners of storm-tossed painting, funeral urn sought

Posted June 15, 2011

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— Two months after more than two dozen tornadoes tore across eastern North Carolina, a Fayetteville woman is trying to find the rightful owners of a painting and a funeral urn that wound up in her possession.

Linda Bulla, a property manager for Prudential All American Homes, said a man on Fraser Drive whose home was destroyed in the April 16 storms found an oil-on-canvas painting of a cottage on a country lane and turned it over to her.

"He found it out in the front yard and brought it up here and said he had a present for us," Bulla said Wednesday. "I thought, 'What are we going to do with it?'"

Her office is on Yadkin Road, which is in the middle of an area that was heavily damaged by the tornadoes.

The painting is in a gold frame and bears a signature that looks like "HESZ" and a 1995 date.

"It's in good condition, and if they want it, I wish they'd come get it," Bulla said.

Painting survives tornado, seeks owner Painting survives tornado, seeks owner

A week before the storm, a tenant turned a white marble funeral urn over to Bulla that was found in a portable storage unit in Harnett County.

For two months, she has tried to locate the loved ones of Carol Ann Rickert, who died in July 1992. She has tried funeral homes and Facebook but has had no luck so far.

"I don’t know what else to do but just try to take care of (the ashes),” Bulla said. "Somebody had been keeping it for 20 years, and now I'm sure somebody would like to have it, and I would really like for them to have it."

Anybody wishing to claim the painting or the ashes can call Bulla at 910-487-4433.

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  • shortcake53 Jun 16, 2011

    1 Momsview, if you find out Ms. Bulla was successful, would you please email me? I would really appreciate knowing, Thanks.

  • 1Moms_View Jun 16, 2011

    I called this afternoon with more definitive information for Ms. Bulla. Never could get through to speak with her after our initial discussion this morning.

    Contact has been attempted in PA with family. Waiting to hear back. Contact information for the family member living in NC at one point has not been located at this point (unless someone else located it).

  • shortcake53 Jun 16, 2011

    I hope we hear later if she was successful or not.

  • 1Moms_View Jun 16, 2011

    Additional informtaion has been located and is being sent to the realtor. Kudos to her for attempting to locate the rightful owners of both the urn and painting.

  • shortcake53 Jun 16, 2011

    Bless her heart for keeping these things safe and trying so hard to find the owners. Not many people would do that these days. I sure hope she is successful, wish I could help.

  • kermelbar Jun 15, 2011

    U.S. Social Security Death Index shows that a Carol A. Rickert died July 14, 1992 and her last residence was Northumberland, Pennsylvania, which is in the same county (Northumberland) as Shamokin, as mentioned by glo.

    Someone at a local library (such as http://www.sunburylibrary.org/) or newspaper (http://newsitem.com/) can hopefully pull up the obituary and see if any relatives were listed.

  • glo Jun 15, 2011

    The Carol A. Rickert who died in 1992 lived in Shamokin, PA, Zip Code 17872.