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County To Bury Ashes Of Those Unclaimed By Families

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BOYLE HEIGHTS (CBS) — Los Angeles County will bury the ashes of 1,400 people whose remains were never claimed in a mass grave at a Boyle Heights cemetery.

The county cremates the bodies of people who cannot be identified by the coroner or who go unclaimed by family. The county holds the ashes for relatives who may claim their loved ones months later, but if no one comes forward, the ashes are buried in a plastic bag in a common grave at the Los Angeles County Crematorium Cemetery.

“Some are homeless. Many are poor. Some have no families to grieve for them,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe said at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting about the people who will be buried. Others have families who simply cannot afford the cost of burial or cremation, he said.

“Regardless of what their status in life was, each one of their lives mattered,” Knabe said. “It matters to us, their county family.”

The Los Angeles County Department of Coroner‘s website has a list of the names of 5,015 dead who remain unclaimed.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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