Los Angeles to Bury 1,430 Unclaimed Deceased Bodies

This is sad news although I suspect it is the right thing to do: Los Angeles County plans to bury 1,430 individuals in a mass grave.

The remains of those set to be buried at the Los Angeles County Crematory and Cemetery in Boyle Heights have all gone unclaimed. The county generally holds the cremated remains for about two years before burial.

Most of those being buried were homeless or were poor with no known family to grieve for them.


Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak founded a group of volunteer forensic Genealogists to help resolve such matters: http://unclaimedpersons.org.


Sad to hear. I hope they have a religious ceremony over the remains.


    The problem with having a religious service for 1,400 people is that it’s almost guaranteed they were of many different faiths (Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, Ethical Humanist, Atheist, and many more) and some of them would undoubtedly be horrified to have the rites or prayers of any of the others said over their grave. It may be difficult to design a ceremony that will be acceptable to all these varied beliefs, without totally losing its religious nature. I’m just hoping they are provided a dignified ceremony of remembrance, with perhaps the Mayor and members of the City Council in attendance.

    I also hope that somebody will take the time to record their names (where known) on a site like “Find-a-Grave” so that there a chance remains that members of their families may still find them sometime in the future. It is only thanks to a gentleman who found a card file in the basement of the charitable organization in New York which undertook to provide him with a decent burial, that our family was finally able to find out what happened to our immigrant patriarch, fully a century after he left home on a business trip in the 1890s and was never seen again.


I have a grandfather who disappeared and was seen the last time in California. He had family in Pasadena, Ca. Is there a list of names somewhere?


Though it would undoubtedly be cost prohibitive it might be valuable to families of the future searching for lost loved ones if the DNA of those 1,430 individuals was on file in a database somewhere.


Leave a Reply

Name and email address are required. Your email address will not be published.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title="" rel=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <pre> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: