CHICAGO (CBS)—Real estate investor Mark Wallace stumbled upon an unlikely discovery when he entered a South Side home recently.

Wallace found a bag of ashes in the house, which he had bought in a foreclosure sale. The name on the tag was for someone named Elbert Pearson.

Wallace knew he could not discard human remains.

How the ashes got there was a mystery, so Wallace did a little digging.

After searching for people with the same last name, Wallace found a man named Alvin Pearson—he happened to be the deceased man’s brother.

The two men recently met up so Wallace could give Pearson his brother’s cremains.

“I wanted to hand this to you,” Wallace said to Pearson. “That’s your brother.”

It’s not every day someone stumbles upon a bag of ashes just lying around a home.

“(In) 30 years of doing this, this is the first time this happened,” Wallace said.

Alvin Pearson was humbled to learn Wallace had gone out of his way to return his brother’s ashes to his family.

“Elbert was a great guy,” his brother said. “He got along with everyone.”

Elbert died in 2015, but his memory lives on.

“It means a lot,” Alvin said. “When a loved one passes on you don’t have closure.”

Mike Puccinelli