Ashes of a 12-year-old girl found in a Southport park

The ashes of the child were found in a small box in the park last June. Credit: Echo syndication

A woman who found the ashes of a 12-year-old girl in a park is now desperately trying to unite them with her family.

Emma Lawless made the mysterious discovery at Hesketh Park in Southport during a day out with her daughters last June. She found a wooden casket containing the remains of Yvonne Harrison, who lived in Preston and died on February 3, 1977.

Today marks 46 years since Yvonne died, and a search is ongoing to try and trace her family so they can be reunited with her ashes.Emma said: "This particular spot, there's a ramp to go down to the rose garden. My daughter came down on her scooter and I got down with the pram."

As she got to the bottom of the ramp, Emma spotted the casket. She said: "It was just placed on top of weeds and ivy. It appeared from nowhere.

"I'd been a couple of days before and it wasn't there then. I went over and had a look."At first, I probably thought it was a dog's [ashes] or something and we went on our way. I went back the next week and it was there again."I thought I'd pick it up and see if it's empty or full, but it was full. It was very heavy."

Hesketh Park Credit: Googlemaps

Emma initially put the casket back where she found it in the hope its owner would come and collect it, but when it remained in the same spot she alerted the park warden.

An engraving on the casket helped to reveal the identity of the ashes as Yvonne Harrison. The ashes were taken to Southport Crematorium, followed by Preston Crematorium, where Yvonne lived.

Emma said: "I just want to get her back with whoever has lost her. It's heart-breaking as I'm a mum myself, especially to girls - it's touched home. She was only 12 when she died, it's quite upsetting."

The Register of Cremations names a James Harrison of Holme Slack, Preston, as the person who made Yvonne's cremation application. It is hoped the information will lead to Yvonne's remains being reunited with her family at last.