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Resource information for the Unclaimed

Discussion in 'The Unclaimed & Amnesia Victims' started by Kimster, Apr 14, 2015.

  1. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    It's a quiet but disturbing epidemic. People are going to their graves with no family to claim them. Medical examiners and coroners' offices—frequently overstretched with burgeoning case loads—are turning to an unexpected resource for help. Over 400 genealogists are now offering their volunteer services to help locate the next of kin for unclaimed persons. And it's working. To date, more than 400 cases have been solved through this unusual partnership.


  2. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    Start here with the case list: https://claimus.org/cases?page=49&pp=20

    When the Unclaimed first became known on NamUS, I was able to make a match and called the daughter of the mother who had been lost. It was a very moving experience to tell a woman what had happened to her mother. If you want to make a difference and haven't found your niche, you might consider learning about how you can help NamUs send the Unclaimed home to their loved ones.
  3. spike

    spike Bronze Member

    Can't wait to get a real live computer.
    Takeitfromme and Kimster like this.
  4. noZme

    noZme Bronze Member

    This is a wonderful tool for comparison - one side scrolls for missing & the other half of the screen scrolls found.
    Please post the link everywhere it will be helpful.

  5. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    Unclaimed by family, cremated remains of 300 found at shuttered funeral home laid to rest

    FLINT TWP, MI - The muted winter sun peeked into the mausoleum as the teens arranged hundreds of black cardboard boxes at the head of the chapel.

    "You lift a box and it's heavy, but then you realize there's a kid in there and it kind of hits you," said Sam Lechel, a senior at Flint Powers Catholic High School, volunteering for the service as part of his school capstone project.

    A veteran. Week-old twin boys who passed in 1985. An unnamed man clad in sunglasses and identified only by a single film photograph of him driving a car. Dozens of infants.


    Snapshot of man taped to cremation urn is only clue to identity

    "If his family ... would like the remains back, (returning them is) our number-one desire," he said.

    Stacked on rows of long tables in the chapel, each of the 300 boxes contained the cremated remains of a person whose ashes went unclaimed by family, found piled in a closet at the now-shuttered Swanson Funeral Home. Some had been sitting in the funeral home for over 30 years, said Tim Bazany of Lansing Catholic Cemeteries.

    On Friday, Feb. 16, the ashes of the 300 individuals were blessed and at last put to rest at New Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Flint Township.

    Hosting a small ceremony complete with "Taps" for the military veteran, Bishop Earl Boyea - head of the Catholic Diocese of Lansing - blessed each of the 300 boxes with holy water.

    "I don't know the stories of all these folks - maybe few of us do," Boyea said during the small service in the mausoleum, attended by local funeral directors and Powers Catholic volunteers. "And I'm sure there are stories here of great poverty, those who simply couldn't afford burial. And there may be other stories of no family, who knows. But each one of these people deserves that respect, and we are paying that respect here today."

    Paradise likes this.
  6. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    Sarah Krebs is used to corpses going missing. As a detective who works in the missing-persons unit in Detroit, she has solved dozens of cases by matching up disappeared people to unidentified bodies left in state custody. But for older cases in which the county was supposed to have buried the body, Krebs says it’s common for her to order an exhumation from the local cemetery and discover that the body she’s looking for is not there.

    Anywhere from a few days to a few years later, those bones might turn up in a separate burial plot, or in a box on a medical examiner’s shelf, or in a law-enforcement evidence room, or in a county employee’s house. “I have multiple, multiple cases where we thought the body was buried and we found a couple days later that someone had it at home,” Krebs says.

    The reason for this morbid confusion is that the United States is enduring a cadaver pileup. Medical examiners around the country are being overrun with bodies that no one comes to pick up, a trend that many coroners attribute to the nation’s opioid epidemic. Drug-overdose deaths increased by 10 percent from 2016 to 2017, largely driven by fentanyls and similar drugs, according to the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention. Now medical examiners in cities such as Detroit process dozens of new remains each day. And as Krebs has encountered, some of those bodies can slip under the radar.

    The bodies that remain accounted for, meanwhile, float in and out of state custody. No one is quite sure what to do with them. The United States has no uniform system for managing the unclaimed. There is no federal law outlining what steps to take, and many states do not have clear procedures, leaving individual medical examiners to make decisions about how to best deal with the bodies. As a result, examiners without money to simply bury or cremate the remains are resorting to inventive—and strange—solutions.

    Among the unclaimed bodies processed in the United States, some are the unidentified remains from missing-persons cases like the ones Krebs works on, but the majority belong to people who were estranged from their family while they were alive, according to Kenna Quinet, an associate professor at Indiana University—Purdue University Indianapolis who co-wrote one of the only academic articles on unclaimed bodies. In most of these cases, the identity of the victim is known, but coroners or funeral directors can’t contact the next of kin, or the next of kin was reached and either doesn’t want the body or can’t afford to bury it. The unclaimed population skews poor and homeless.

    More at link: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2019/02/unclaimed-bodies-problem/582625/

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