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Grieving families bond over recovered message in a bottle containing ashes of a Texas man


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Man’s ashes set to sea inside a bottle for ‘one last adventure’ finds another grieving family before continuing journey

  • Brian Mullins, 39, of Texas died of a heart attack in March
  • His daughter and mother cremated him and put some of his ashes in a plastic bottle with two letters and a little cash before throwing it in the Gulf of Mexico
  • Walton County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Paula Pendleton recently received a call about the bottle, which was found after it washed ashore on a Florida beach
  • Pendleton’s husband, Bill, died of a sudden illness in 2018
  • She wept after opening the bottle and reading the two letters in her squad car
  • She contacted Mullins’ daughter and mother and the trio have formed a friendship over their mutual grief
  • Pendleton told Peyton and her grandmother that she added a note she wrote to their bottle before giving it to a charter boat captain
  • The captain carried the bottle farther into the gulf to continue Brian’s journey
  • Peyton has since created a Facebook page called ‘ Brian’s Journey ‘ where fans can track her father’s trek around the globe. 

A gripping story of love, loss and a message in a bottle has connected two grieving families separated by the Gulf of Mexico

A gripping story of love, loss and a message in a bottle has connected two grieving families separated by the Gulf of Mexico.

Walton County Sheriff Office Sgt. Paula Pendleton became emotional after reading two heartfelt letters with a phone number that were contained in a plastic bottle found near Grayton Beach State Park in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

The bottle also contained a few dollars to make a potential phone call and the ashes of Brian Mullins, 39, of Texas, who died of a heart attack in only a few days after his birthday in March.

It was recovered by a beach-goer who called law enforcement after finding it. 

‘I’m sending him on one last adventure,’ said the first message, written by a Darlene Mullins from Garland, Texas.

The second note was written by Peyton Mullins, Brian’s daughter, who said she was 14 when her dad passed away.

‘It has struck our whole family pretty hard and, so far, it has been a very hard road. But, like my granny said, he loved to be free. So, that’s exactly what we are doing.’ 

Walton County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Paula Pendleton recently received a call about the bottle, which was found after it washed ashore on a Florida beach

Walton County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Paula Pendleton recently received a call about the bottle, which was found after it washed ashore on a Florida beach

Pendleton wept after opening the bottle and reading the two letters it contained

Pendleton wept after opening the bottle and reading the two letters it contained

Peyton told WFAA she and her grandmother just wanted her dad to ‘be free.’

‘That was his whole thing. He wanted to travel the world. He wanted to be everywhere,’ she said.

Pendleton, whose husband, Bill, died of a sudden illness in 2018, said she was reduced to tears after reading the messages. She contacted Darlene and Peyton  over the phone before doing so again via Skype in WFAA’s newsroom on Friday.

‘And I thank you very much for making me bawl and cry in my patrol car,’ Pendleton told the Mullins jokingly. ‘Sometimes you’re supposed to meet the people that run across your life. And I was definitely supposed to meet you, Peyton, for sure.’ 

Peyton Mullins (pictured) and her grandmother, Darlene Mullins, said they wrote the letters and put her father's ashes in the bottle so he could travel in around the world and be free

Peyton Mullins (pictured) and her grandmother, Darlene Mullins, said they wrote the letters and put her father’s ashes in the bottle so he could travel in around the world and be free

Brian Mullins, 39, died of a heart attack in March a few days after celebrating his birthday

Brian Mullins, 39, died of a heart attack in March a few days after celebrating his birthday

An old picture of Brian Mullins with his then-infant daughter

An old picture of Brian Mullins with his then-infant daughter

Pendleton told Peyton and her grandmother that she added a note she wrote to their bottle before giving it to a charter boat captain who carried it farther out into the gulf so Brian’s travels could proceed.

Peyton has since created a Facebook page called ‘Brian’s Journey’ where fans can track her father’s trek around the globe.

The Walton County Sheriff’s office shared the story about the bottle on its Facebook page where it has received 13,000 reactions and almost 1,000 comments.

‘Brian is officially on the next chapter of his adventure,’ the sheriff’s office said on Facebook.

Peyton expressed gratitude after exchanging numbers with Pendleton.

‘I said it in a text multiple times, but thank you,’ she said. ‘There’s someone that doesn’t know me but cares.’

‘You’re welcome, sweetheart,’ Pendleton replied.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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