Local News

Owners of storm-tossed painting, funeral urn sought

Posted June 15, 2011 4:44 p.m. EDT
Updated June 15, 2011 7:02 p.m. EDT

— 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.

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.