TSA Apologizes to NFL Player for Spilling His Mom’s Ashes During Luggage Search

New York Giants defensive tackle A.J. Francis recently traveled with the ashes of his deceased mother, Carrie Leanne Francis. Unfortunately after traveling through the LAX airport Francis discovered his mother's ashes scattered throughout his luggage, leaving the professional athlete furious and heartbroken.

Francis had the container for the ashes in his checked on luggage, which he discovered was searched through by the Transportation Security Administration. He posted a photo of the ashes in his luggage with a message directed at the TSA on Monday.

"Hey you pieces of s— at [TSA] next time you assholes feel the need to go thru my mother's ashes for no reason, make sure you close it back so her remains aren't spilled on all my clothes... the least you pieces of garbage can do is your f—ing job," Francis wrote.

The TSA's customer service account, "AskTSA," quickly posted a multi-tweet apology.

"We're very sorry to hear about this," the account responded. "We understand the emotional stress travelers are under when transporting the remains of a loved one. Our policies and procedures focus on ensuring that all passengers are treated with dignity, respect and courtesy."

"Our officers are trained to handle your carry-on and checked property with care," the account continued. "Out of respect for the deceased, under no circumstances should the container be opened. Please accept our apologies and our condolences."

Francis' initial response was "Under all circumstances f— yourself."

He later posted another response.

"The craziest part of this [TSA] s— is that I dont even care that they checked it... they were just being cautious, & I can understand that. But to not ensure that it won't spill back into my bag after you put it back in is the most asinine & irresponsible s— I have ever seen," Francis wrote.

This prompted another response from the organization.

"We want to look further into this," the account wrote. "Please let us know which airport you traveled through, as well as the airline and flight information."

By Thursday the initial photo of the ashes in the suitcase nearly 5,000 retweets and 11,000 likes.

The TSA released a statement to PEOPLE on Thursday following their investigation.

"TSA understands how painful losing a loved one is, and we express our sincere condolences to Mr. Francis," the statement began. "TSA officers are trained to treat all travelers' belongings with care and respect."

The statement walked through the recorded events of the inspection.

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"A TSA officer discovered the unidentified object was an opened, unmarked ceramic container, wrapped in aluminum foil inside a small bag. Upon further inspection of the checked bag, the container was loosely packaged, unmarked and the contents unknown to the TSA officer. ... The TSA officer completed screening of the checked bag, clearing it to continue to its destination. The container was carefully repacked and placed in the bag."

Photo: Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images