The Ashes Of Over 1,300 Unclaimed Deceased Will Be Buried Next Month
Next month, the ashes of 1,355 people whose remains were never claimed will be buried one, single grave. L.A. County holds a public ceremony each December for those whose remains were not claimed by family following their death. Last year, L.A. County buried over 1,400 people who died in 2011.
This year, over 1,300 will be buried. Most were cremated by the County in 2012, the L.A. Times reports.
The bodies were found in a number of places. The most common point of origin were residences, while several came from area hospitals including the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center and and the California Hospital Medical Center. Some died in nursing homes, while others were found outdoors in homeless encampments or on the side of the road. There are 944 males, 407 females and four whose gender is unknown. Over 100 of them were babies, two were teenagers, and most were over 60 at their time of death. A total of 450 were considered suspicious, and 11 are unidentified. Of these 11, seven are John Does, one is a Jane Doe, and three are just "Unknown." One of the John Does killed himself by jumping in front of a train, while two others were discovered in homeless encampments. The woman's body was discovered in Chinatown in the trash at a recycling center.
The reasons for why these bodies go unclaimed vary. Some simply have no one to claim them—no family left, and no close contacts. Others have family, but the family member or members lack the funds to reimburse the county for cremation. To pick up the ashes generally costs $352 to $466, though the county will waive the fee in some cases. Others simply aren't interested. Joyce Kato, an investigator at the Los Angeles County coroner's office, told the Times last year that this is increasingly common. "We see that more and more every year," she said. "They don't even feel that they're obligated to make arrangements for a long-lost sibling."
The ashes will be buried in one grave on December 9 at 10 a.m. at the L.A. County Cemetery. There will be a ceremony, which the public may attend. The names of the deceased can be found here, and remains can still be claimed by calling the Office of Decedent Affairs at 323-409-7161 or by emailing Estala Inouye at firstname.lastname@example.org. After the Times released last year's list, 15 remains were claimed.